New information on death of motorcyclist in Mableton

Detail of Cobb County Police Department STEP Unit vehicle in article about fatal accident on I-75

Police have revised their findings on the crash that resulted in the death of a motorcyclist and serious injury to a cyclist on Veterans Memorial Highway at Puckett Drive in Mableton on February 13.

It was originally thought that a black SUV had collided with the cyclist, and that the motorcyclist had lost control due to hitting debris from the bicycle.

A follow-up public information release this afternoon states the following:

Upon further investigation, it has been determined that the motorcycle operated by Christopher Johnson (38, Mableton) initially collided with the bicycle ridden by Melissa Winslow (32, Marietta). The impact sent the bicycle into the westbound lanes, where a vehicle collided with the bicycle only.

As a result of this new information, we are no longer actively searching for the black SUV. It has been confirmed that the driver of the vehicle stopped to ensure they had not hit anything else before leaving the scene.

Original story below

A motorcyclist was killed and a cyclist serious injured as the result of a hit-and-run incident on Veterans Memorial Highway at Puckett Drive in Mableton.

According to a public information release from Officer Aaron Wilson of the Cobb County Police Department, the department’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (S.T.E.P. Unit) is investigating the incident, and the suspect, the driver of a black sport utility vehicle, is still being sought.

The public information release describes the events as follows:

According to the preliminary investigation, Melissa Winslow (32, Marietta) was riding a bicycle, attempting to cross Veterans Memorial Highway at Puckett Drive. A westbound vehicle collided with Winslow in the westbound lanes and fled the scene. The rider was separated, and the bicycle remained under the vehicle, separating from it and resting in the center turn lane. 

Meanwhile, a silver 2008 Harley Davidson Street Bob, operated by Christopher Johnson (38, Mableton), was traveling east on Veterans Memorial Highway toward Puckett Drive. 

Investigators believe the Harley Davidson collided with bicycle debris, causing Johnson to lose control. The motorcycle collided with the curb, and both Johnson and the motorcycle came to rest in different locations along Veterans Memorial Highway.

Winslow was transported to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with serious injuries, while Johnson was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Investigators are actively seeking information about the black sport utility vehicle that left the scene. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Cobb County Police Department at 770-499-3987.

Next of kin has been notified.

The STEP Unit

The STEP Unit, which investigates serious or fatal traffic crashes, is one of the Cobb County Police Department’s Special Operations units, and is described on the web page of the Cobb County Police Department as follows:

“The Selective Traffic Enforcement Unit is responsible for investigating all fatal traffic crashes, enforcement of traffic laws in those areas which analysis indicates an elevated amount of crashes. 

“They are also responsible for the administration and execution of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. 

“They also take part in special security details, and investigate crashes involving Department vehicles when requested.”

The STEP Unit is commanded by Lieutenant Lane Johnson.