Mississippi man killed during cycling event when his bike collided with truck

Published 8:36 pm Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Mississippi man and renowned engineer was killed Saturday after his bicycle struck a pickup truck in Leflore County during a bicycle event

Jim O’Daniel, 49, of Clinton, worked as an engineer for the U.S. Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg.

He was participating in the 12th annual Bikes, Blue & Bayous event, the Greenwood Commonwealth reported.

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O’Daniel was pronounced dead at 8:30 a.m. at Greenwood LeFlore Hospital by Leflore County Coroner Debra Sanders. An autopsy is planned.

According to witnesses, O’Daniel was hit by the truck on U.S. 82 as he was traveling across the highway along the ride’s 62-mile route. He had just left a rest stop in Itta Bena and was heading toward the next stop in Schlater.

According to information from ERDC, O’Daniel joined ERDC in 1998 as a Research Structural Engineer.

He received his bachelors of science degree in civil engineering in 1990 from Cornell University and his masters and PhD. from the University of Pennsylvania.

He was serving in ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, where he performed research and development in the area of computational mechanics for blast, impact and penetration events.

O’Daniel was also involved in several projects including collateral effects and structural damage, vulnerability analysis of structures due to terrorist threats, improvement of retrofit design using finite element modeling, and the verification and validation of engineering models.

He was known internationally for his work and published many refereed papers in proceeding international conferences and symposiums.