Joseph Purrington, 21, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma was killed when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car being driven at a high rate of speed on a local street.
Witnesses report that 32-year-old William Burton Livingston was driving at least 100 miles per hour prior to the collision, before jumping a curb, leaving the roadway, and hitting Purrington in front of a local restaurant. The bicyclist was thrown from the bike and landed in the parking lot; his bicycle was found more than 100 feet away.
The driver left the scene, but a witness followed him until police could apprehend the driver, Bartlesville Police Chief Tom Holland said. “It was obvious that we had the right vehicle. The car had extensive damage to the front end.” Holland said there were also bicycle parts on the vehicle.
“The man was intoxicated, in opinion of officer,” he said. “The suspect was then taken to hospital to draw blood. He initially refused but eventually agreed. He was arrested at the hospital.”
Officers investigating the scene found no skid marks prior to impact, and approximately 160 feet of skid marks post-impact — indicating the driver of the vehicle made no attempt to stop prior to striking the victim. Purrington, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Mr. Livingston seemed quite cavalier about the whole thing at first, but as he sobered up and reality began to set in, he began to focus on the seriousness of what had occurred,” Holland said.
Livingston was charged with first-degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. Bail was set at $100,000, Holland said.
Read more from the Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise.