Home Crime Arkansas Man Accused of Fatally Striking Cyclist After Police Find Victim's Body in Bed of Truck – PEOPLE

Arkansas Man Accused of Fatally Striking Cyclist After Police Find Victim's Body in Bed of Truck – PEOPLE

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Arkansas Man Accused of Fatally Striking Cyclist After Police Find Victim's Body in Bed of Truck – PEOPLE

An Arkansan man was arrested Saturday after fatally striking a cyclist and then fleeing the scene with the victim's body in the bed of his truck, according to authorities.
James Ray Jones, 42, is facing charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident in connection with the death of 57-year-old cyclist Christopher West.
West was cycling around 8 p.m. on Friday in Fort Smith when he was struck trying to cross the street, police said. The following morning, a passerby reported finding part of the victim's leg near where the accident occurred.
"From there they were able to start pulling surveillance from the area and start the evidence trail that led" to Jones, Fort Smith Police Department public information officer Aric Mitchell told PEOPLE.
Officers found West's body in the bed of Jones's truck, which was found in the yard of a relative's home.
"We had enough on the surveillance footage to locate the truck, and from there we found the individual in the bed of the truck under a sheet and he was deceased," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the reconstruction team believes the impact from the bicycle being struck vaulted West into the bed of the truck.
Police said Jones confessed to the hit and run and said he didn't immediately realize West was in the back of his truck.
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"He claimed to have not realized until he arrived at his destination but confessed to having hit the individual," says Mitchell.
"He loved riding his bicycle," West's son-in-law, Stuart Wood, told 40/29 News. "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."
"He should have just stopped," Wood said. "Panicking or not, you should have stopped."
Jones is being held in Sebastian County Adult Detention Center on a $50,000 cash bond.

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