Georgia Mayor Dies in ‘Unavoidable’ Motocross Accident

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Georgia mayor Perry Bell died in a motocross wreck after just three short months in office. The 54-year-old mayor of White, a Bartow County town, suffered blunt force trauma to the chest during a race at the Lazy River Motocross track near Dalton.

Sadly, his injuries were too severe for helicopter transport. And though he was immediately rushed to a hospital in Chatsworth, he died soon after his arrival.

According to Murray County Deputy Cornoner Jonathan Sossebee, the mayor was struck by another rider, who was also hospitalized. The other driver’s injuries were minor, however, and he was released from the hospital a few hours later.

“It was an unavoidable accident,” Sosebee explained to The Daily Tribune News. “From what I understand, he was on a jump, and then he crashed on top of a jump. There was another rider right behind him and he was unable to do anything… He wasn’t able to see him to avoid it.”

Sosebee added that officials are investigating the accident. However, no criminal charges have been filed.

Following Perry Bell’s unexpected death, White Mayor Pro Tem Gary Crisp took over mayoral duties. “[Perry Bell] was just a caring person for the community and just wanted to help the people who lived here,” Crisp told WSB Radio.

Though no concrete plans have been made, government officials reported the city will likely hold a special election to determine Perry Bell’s replacement.

Close Friend of Georgia Mayor Shares Heartbreaking Message

Residents of White, Georgia, knew Perry Bell as a government official, the mayor of their town. Those close to Bell, however, knew him as a daredevil.

In addition to his passion for race cars, Perry Bell loved skydiving and motorcycles. He was described as an entrepreneur who enjoyed playing the piano and guitar. His successful mayoral campaign was Bell’s “most recent accomplishment.”

In a touching Facebook post, Bell’s close friend Roy Cicola gave others a look into the mayor’s incredible life cut too short. “Unfortunately a post can’t say enough to capture the essence of this man,” he wrote. “A true friend and much more. We had the blessing to share him with many: His beloved Christina, his brother and sisters and many other people that were considered family.”

“Emotions are raw so bear with me on this,” Cicola continued. “This man is LEGEND! He accomplished so much in a short period of time. …  I know if given the chance he would’ve made the town he fell in love with a better place to live for all the residents.”

“Everybody is hit hard from it,” City Hall employee Anthony Morris explained to WSB. “He’s always got a smile on his face.”