Footage of incident between mayor, bicyclist making rounds online

Got picture. No sound.

A video that apparently shows the incident from Sunday, August 12, involving Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler and a 15-year-old bicyclist has hit the Internet and gone viral. Following the release this past Sunday of the footage, likely thousands of local eyes have witnessed the footage.

But no one is talking about it.

Now, with the situation having gone from the street to the domain of lawyers, comments about the footage are being withheld by the involved parties.

Joyce Sears, the mayor's executive assistant, provided the footage to the Commonwealth Journal, one of numerous individuals to share it with the newspaper.

However, when asked for comment about it, City Attorney Carrie Wiese sent the following response in a text message:

"The Mayor has no further comments to make at this time other than those he made to the TV stations."

A call was also placed to Melody Bradshaw, the mother of Victoria Smith, who Kentucky State Police (KSP) say was struck by Girdler in a white Chevrolet Tahoe while crossing East Mt. Vernon Street on her bicycle.

Bradshaw could not comment on the case, but did say that Smith was "resting" at this time.

Bradshaw is being represented by the law firm of Thompson and Thompson in Somerset. Attorney Bill Thompson also said he could not comment on the case at this time.

The video footage, which appears to be taken from the roof of the Pulaski County Courthouse (Pulaski Judge-Executive Steve Kelley agreed that appeared to be the angle), shows part of a timestamp date from August 12, 2018 at 18:50-something, or 6:50-something p.m., the time of the incident, according to KSP. The footage shows a westbound SUV approach the intersection of East Mt. Vernon and Maple Streets as a bicyclist is crossing East Mt. Vernon.

The video shows the SUV stopping suddenly and the bicyclist briefly pausing and appearing to turn a rear wheel slightly before continuing across the street at a slightly slower speed.

It does not confirm clearly and conclusively whether or not the SUV made actual contact with the bicycle or Smith, but does appear to validate aspects of the mayor's account of the incident.

Girdler told the Commonwealth Journal last week that he saw the girl on the bike head into the crosswalk at the interaction and hit his brakes hard as the light turned red. He added that the bicyclist continued across the crosswalk, and traveled southbound on South Maple Street, and was "200 to 300 feet away" when the light turned green.

"I chalked it up to a close call and went on," said Girdler. "If I had any inkling the young lady was injured, I certainly would have stopped to assist her. I had no idea."

Later, the mayor headed back to the Energy Center and saw police activity at the same intersection and stopped.

The KSP citation states that witnesses at the scene of the accident saw the girl along with two other cyclists crossing East Mt. Vernon Street using a crosswalk while traffic on East Mt. Vernon Street had a red light. The witnesses then allegedly saw a white Chevrolet Tahoe with official tags traveling on East Mt. Vernon which "had to stop abruptly and made contact with the victim's left hip and rear tire of bicycle."

The stop was so sudden that the Tahoe's tires screeched and black marks were left on the pavement, observed by investigators.

KSP Trooper Lloyd Cochran could not confirm whether or not the footage currently viral online is the same that his agency is using to investigate the case. KSP Trooper Matthew Parmley told the Commonwealth Journal that the agency does have footage of the incident, but that it would not be released. He said that their video showed contact between the vehicle and the teenager.

Girdler was issues a citation for leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid or assistance.

Smith was taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital by private vehicle before being airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for further treatment.

Smith told the Commonwealth Journal last week that tests at the local hospital indicated that she had bleeding in her liver, which is why she was flown out.

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