BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Amber Green, 26, is facing charges in connection with the death of a cyclist and is expected in court Wednesday morning.
According to court records, Green is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury or death. The accident is connected to the death of Mark Miller, 59, which happened in December 2021.
Two years later, the family is still searching for justice. Miller was on a routine bike ride on December 15, 2021, when he was struck. His widow, Midge Miller, said he died at the scene.
Miller is now working to bring awareness to the importance of sharing the road with cyclists safely.
She said the traffic accident that led to her husband’s death could have been avoided, noting he was an experienced cyclist that rode about 15,000 miles a year.
She said he was wearing reflective gear and lights at the time he was struck. Miller hopes those who hear her husband’s story learn how imperative it is that drivers always stay aware of their surroundings and pay attention.
“We feel like we can talk on the phone and drive a car and stop for the stoplight or whatever you’re doing and sometimes you don’t pay enough attention,” said Miller. “You’re driving a big vehicle. You’re driving a 3,000-pound vehicle and if you hit somebody, that’s somebody’s dad or somebody’s husband. So, you really need to pay attention because the consequences are irreparable.”
Miller said Mark wasn’t just an avid cyclist. He was a husband, father, veterinarian, and veteran. They miss him dearly.
“It affects everybody, and it affects everybody for the rest of their life not just my family but his friends, our friends, and our soon to be granddaughter that’s on her way and she’ll never know him,” said Miller. “So, I think if people are just conscious that that needs to be your first priority. Driving is your first priority if you’re driving.”
Lloyd Maisonville, president of the Birmingham Bicycle Club, said traffic accidents like this involving cars and bicycles are on the rise.
According to data they’ve collected, there have been 72 reported cyclist fatalities in the last 20 years. Maisonville said nine of those happened just last year.
This is something they’re working to change by advocating for more bike lanes and signage in rural areas and educating cyclists on important safety protocols like wearing reflective gear, flashing lights, and riding in groups.
“We try to encourage people to group together so that when a vehicle does approach, they can get around and go,” said Maisonville. “And like I said, we try to encourage them to, like we’ll be waving the ride around when we feel it’s safe for them to pass and giving them the wave and then that kind of builds that, I’ll say, the comradery between the cyclist and the motorist.”
Maisonville said they also encourage drivers to have patience, avoid distractions and give cyclists at least 3ft.
The court appearance is set to take place at 9 a.m. at the Jefferson County Criminal Justice Center. Miller is encouraging cyclists to show up today in support of Mark.