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AAA holds forum on bicycle safety in era of drugged driving

Two bicyclists have been killed recently by people police say were high behind the wheel. Now, bicyclists are learning how to keep safe from tragedies like these. (WKRC)

MT. ADAMS, Ohio (WKRC) - The drug epidemic is starting to really be felt on the roads.

Two bicyclists have been killed recently by people police say were high behind the wheel. Now, bicyclists are learning how to keep safe from tragedies like these.

Ghosts rides are something that the cycling community comes together for, but they hate the reason behind it. It means that another cyclist has been killed by a driver.

And these days, some of those drivers are drugged.

"It's definitely a different world out there," said cyclist Joel Davenport. "There's a lot of different types of drivers that I didn't encounter before. I'd say distracted. I haven't run into anybody who's tried to really run me off the road, but I keep hearing stories about that."

The American Automobile Association held a forum on the dangers of drugged driving and specifically the effect it has on people riding bikes Thursday night.

"When you're looking at the road, people expect to see cars; they expect to see trucks and even motorcycles, and motorcycles are kind of loud, so people can hear them. Bicycles are quiet, and they're not real visible," said Paul Humphries from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

"This is a drugged driving forum specifically for bicyclists. We've unfortunately had two fatalities. Two bicyclists that have been killed by drugged drivers earlier this week; there was a ghost ride for William Rust," said Cheryl Parker of AAA.

Police say Steven Sickle killed Rust on US 52 while high on heroin. Rust was riding his bike in Anderson Township.

Michael Prater was also killed while on his bike in the same area. Police say that driver was also on drugs.

"When things happen, we track the criminal cases; we try to make sure that that process goes. We make sure the cases are investigated," said attorney Steve Magas.

The group went over safety for cyclists and how to prevent more tragedies, saying as long as people are high while driving. Bicyclists need to be prepared.

"Anybody who's on a bike, on the streets, could suffer the same fate, so I think that it's really important that we have seminars like this," said Davenport.

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