Edgemoor bicyclist struck by car, killed

EDGEMOOR -- A Chester County bicyclist died Friday night when he was struck by a motorist, officials said.

Kenneth Lynn Cherry, 44, of 944 Old Nunnery Farm Road in Fort Lawn died from head and body injuries, said Chester County Chief Deputy Coroner Tommy Williams.

"He really didn't know what hit him," Williams said.

Around 9 p.m., Cherry was riding his bike south along Harmony Church Road between S.C. 223 and U.S. 21 when he was hit by a 2001 Chevy Malibu, said Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The vehicle "struck the bicycle in the rear tire area with the right front bumper of his car," Johnson said.

The 19-year-old driver of the car was not injured and remained at the scene. He will not be charged, Johnson said.

Instead, authorities found fault with Cherry's bike.

"The bicycle did not have any safety equipment required to ride at night," Johnson said. "There were no reflectors on there."

Cherry did not wear a helmet and died at the scene, Williams said.

Cherry always seemed to be riding his bike and was known for his handyman skills, said his brother, Michael Cherry.

"He was an upbeat person," Michael Cherry said. "He was always laughing. If someone else had something on their mind, he'd put a smile on their face."

The collision marks the first time this year a bicyclist has died on roads in Chester, Lancaster or York counties, according to a Web-based report from the state highway safety office. The report states at least eight other fatalities this year that involved bicyclists on statewide roads.

"God just picked another one of his angels," Michael Cherry said of his brother. "He got his wings, and he doesn't have to worry about this crazy world anymore."

Authorities say the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year on South Carolina roadways.

As of Thursday, 708 people had died on state roadways this year, according to the state highway safety office. That's up from 647 people who died on state roads through the same time last year.