Avid Charleston cyclist and peninsula community member Edwin Gardner died Friday from injuries in a Wednesday morning accident between his bike and a vehicle on a downtown roadway. Gardner's bike reportedly got lodged under the car and was dragged 15 feet down Montagu Street.
According to police, the driver stated that she was turning onto Montagu behind Gardner and attempted to pass him by going into the middle of the road. She claims that he then moved further into the roadway, striking the front passenger side of her vehicle. A witness who saw what happened after the car and the bike collided spoke with police.
Gardner is an active member of the downtown community and was a leader on the transportation subcommittee of the Peninsula Task Force.
In comments early Friday morning, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley noted Gardner's contributions to his community. Riley said he's often praised by outsiders for such a fine city.
"I say it's the citizens of this city and their extraordinary participation," Riley said. "When you rank those people, you would put Edwin up at the top."
Gardner's family has a car, but they rarely used it downtown, says Tom Bradford, a friend of Gardner's and the acting director of the bike advocacy group Charleston Moves. Gardner was always on his bike, Bradford said.
He says that South Carolina law provides for safe riding for cyclists and Charleston is poised to improve awareness with more signs and more bike lanes.
"New developments in city planning and road planning will hopefully make these instances less common," Bradford says.