A local physician was killed Tuesday when a bicycle he was riding was struck by a utility van and he was thrown over the side of the James Island connector.
Charleston County Deputy Coroner Brittney Martin identified the victim as 54-year-old Mitchell Hollon of West Ashley.
According to Charleston police, Hollon was riding a bicycle on the westbound side in the shoulder between the exits for S.C. Highway 61 and Harbor View Road about 8:40 a.m. when an AT&T utility van being driven by a 44-year-old West Ashley man drifted to the right and struck the bicycle, knocking its rider over the bridge and into the marsh,
40 feet below.
The driver of the van was found to have contributed to the collision while the bicyclist was not, according to a police report. But no charges had been filed Tuesday, Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said. The investigation is still open, he said.
Authorities on airboats recovered Hollon's body from the marsh some 40 feet below about an hour later. His bicycle and helmet were still on the shoulder, not far from the van with a shattered windshield and large dent in its passenger side.
Officers also marked several more smaller pieces of the bike that stretched over some 50 yards along the shoulder of the road.
Hollon was an anesthesiologist with an office in Mount Pleasant and a cycling enthusiast.
Peter Wilborn of bikelaw.com, a Charleston lawyer who represents bicyclists, said he did not know Hollon personally but knew him by reputation. He said Hollon was well known in the cycling community and that his death was tragic.
"This really demonstrated the need for a safer bicycle crossing across the Ashley River," Wilborn said. He is a member of group called Charleston Moves that has been calling for a safe crossing of the Ashley.
"South Carolina trails the nation in its investment in bicycle infrastructure," Wilborn said. "And South Carolina is on par this year to break records for bicycle fatalities."