KOSCIUSKO, Miss.--Dr. Gary Holdiness died May 6, 2012, doing what he loved best-cycling. He was riding his bicycle on the Natchez Trace Parkway, getting ready for a bike trek in Alaska. No one was riding with him that morning when he was hit from behind.
A report was released some months later by Parkway officials, but it was highly redacted, meaning parts were blocked out so as not to reveal information sensitive to the on-going investigation. Now that report has been released in its near entirety and the conclusion by the investigator is that speed and texting while driving were factors in the wreck.
When Holdiness' bike was returned to the family, it was in pieces. The investigation concluded, with some forensic calculation, that the truck that hit Holdiness, driven by a 17-year-old whose name has not officially been released, was likely going 78 mph, which is 28 mph over the speed limit. In addition, phone records were obtained by the grand jury that showed the young man was texting and may not have been paying attention.
The report shows that when Holdiness made impact with the ground, his body wastraveling at 51 mph.
Since his death, community awareness about the dangers of cycling and the need for motorists to mind cyclists and obey the three ft. clearance rule has come to the fore.
Holdiness was a popular and sought after physician.
It was unclear if the teen had been served papers or is facing charges.