Steven Jordan, the Director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, died after being hit by a truck on Wednesday, July 4.
Jordan was riding a bicycle in North Raleigh. Shortly after 2:15 p.m., he was heading north on Louisburg Road, near the intersection of Perry Creek Road. His bicycle, in the far right lane, was overtaken by an empty logging truck being driven by Clifton Paul Ellis. Ellis, attempting to pass the bicycle, did not move over far enough and hit Jordan from the rear.
Jordan was thrown more than fifty feet by the force of the collision, and he died at the scene of the accident. Investigators say that speed was not a factor in the incident, and that Ellis’s truck was moving around 35 mph—far below the 50 mph posted speed limit.
Ellis turned himself in to police the following day. The 28-year-old Kenly resident was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision. He allegedly told investigators that traffic in the center lane prevented him from moving over farther.
Creech’s Trucking of Smithfield, NC, owns the truck Ellis was driving.
Mr. Jordan was 49 years old. He had been born in Aiken, South Carolina, and had earned degrees from Charleston Southern University and a Masters degree in educational counseling from the University of South Carolina. He had worked with the state Division of Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services since 2010. Before that, he was employed as the state director for ResCare, a private treatment provider for people with disabilities and youth with special needs.
In 2010—the latest year for which statistics are available—there were 56 bicycle fatalities reported in North Carolina.