Daniel Johnson was charged with reckless homicide on Tuesday for the October crash that killed Dr. Matthew Burke and injured four others after several months of diligent investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Aiken County Solicitor’s office.
If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum of 10 years in jail and a mandatory five-year driver’s license revocation. His SUV struck the five cyclists riding in a group of 15 at 6:40 p.m. on Beech Island Avenue. Johnson told the highway patrol that he did not see the group because he was reaching down for something in his car.
Dr. Burke was taken to the hospital with severe head trauma following the collision and remained in a coma until his death Sunday night at the age of 38. Dr. Burke is survived by his wife and 11-month-old daughter. At the time of the crash, Dr. Burke, a U.S. Army major and orthopedic surgeon, had been home from Iraq for about a year. Dr. Burke will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Although we are terribly saddened by the loss of such an honorable individual, husband, father, soldier, doctor and friend to many, we are hopeful for what the charge will mean for bicycle safety in South Carolina. It has been an honor to work closely with Peter Wilborn and his dedicated team at mybikelaw.com on this case, and we thank them for their loyal representation of the Burke family, for their perseverance, and for their partnership and support.
Please join us in keeping Dr. Burke's family close to your hearts and in your thoughts, and stand resolute alongside other bicycle advocates as we all strive for a safer and more bicycle friendly South Carolina. Bicycling is indeed good for our selves, for our communities, for our businesses and for our government. Lets keep that in mind and, of course, keep on riding.