Location: Oklahoma

Oklahoma Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run

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.

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

4 responses to “Oklahoma Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run”

  1. katt says:

    mr livingston is now out on bail when he was at his last court appearance oct 14th he was showing no remorse towards the family he was all smiles along with his mother. the sister of the victim asked him why he killed her brother all he would do is smile and said not guilty this was very upsetting to the family i hope he gets the max sentence.

  2. Randy says:

    It’s a terrible thing. Thanks for the update, Katt.

    Brings to mind a case in Arizona, where the judge took the killer’s remorselessness into account during the sentencing: Laughing jailhouse phone call gets woman tougher sentence

  3. jessie johnson says:

    joseph was my friend not only friend my best friend& mr.livington took it all away

  4. jessie johnson of bartillesville says:

    i miss him so much