A VSU psychology professor will be unable to return to the classroom for the rest of semester after being struck by a car while on a morning bike ride Monday.
Dr. Mark Whatley, associate professor of psychology, was riding south down Inner Perimeter road near Jaycee Shack Road at 6:30 a.m. when he was hit from behind by a Ford Explorer. The driver left the scene of the accident, according to Valdosta police.
The VPD later found the car at 1810 E. Park Ave. Afton Green, the driver of the car, told Valdosta police that she thought that she had hit a dog so she kept driving. She blamed poor lighting conditions for her inability to tell that what she hit was actually a person on a bicycle.
Green was charged with improper passing, leaving the scene of an accident, license-not on person, and tag-expired.
Dr. Whatley was taken South Georgia Medical Center with injuries to his legs and back. He will undergo back surgery on Tuesday morning at Shands Medical Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.
Dr. Whatley’s classes were cancelled for the remainder of this week. Starting next week, Dr. Jackson Rainer, head of the psychology and counseling department, will take over teaching responsibilities for the remainder of this semester.
There is a get well card available for students to sign in the psychology building.
No calls to either party involved had been returned at press time.