James Ray Jones Arkansas driver strikes and kills Christopher West cyclist with pickup truck along Fort Smith before fleeing scene in hit and run.
James Ray Jones, 42, upon his arrest was charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, Fort Smith Police Department said.
Police got a call early Saturday morning from someone who discovered a human leg on the side of Grand Avenue between North 14th and North 16th streets, just about a mile away from the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.
Investigators searched surveillance footage and saw a bicyclist being hit by a pickup around 8 p.m. the night before.
Cops were able to track down the owner of the pickup and later on Saturday, officers arrived at Jones’ home to find his pickup in his backyard – and the cyclist still to be in the bed of the pickup.
Driver confesses to hit and run
Jones reportedly confessed in an interview that he had ‘panicked’ over the outcome of the incident 5News reported.
The deceased cyclist has been identified as 57 year old local man, Christopher West, 57, KHBS reported.
Police believe Jones hit West with such force that the cyclist was thrown into the back of the truck – minus part of his leg. Jones told police he didn’t realize the body was back there until sometime later.
Jones confessed to the hit-and-run and was arrested and taken to the Sebastian County Jail.
One anonymous resident living close to the accident told 5News that this isn’t the first time an accident has happened in that area.
She says it’s ‘frustrating’ and ‘concerning’ that there simply isn’t enough lighting.
‘I don’t want to see anybody get hurt, certainly not see anybody get killed,’ she said.
‘He loved riding his bicycle,’
‘And part of the problem is that it gets very dark in this neighborhood on Grand and on certain intersections.’
West was remembered by family and loved ones as an avid cyclist.
‘He loved riding his bicycle,’ his son-in-law, Stuart Wood, told KHBS. ‘He was a really good man. If he saw anybody needing help he would stop and help them; he would volunteer and help do yard work, all kinds of stuff.’
Wood had a message for Jones.
‘He should have just stopped,’ Wood told KHBS. ‘Panicking or not, you should have stopped.’
Jones remains held on $50,000 bond.