IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A pickup truck driver has turned himself in after troopers say he left the scene of a hit-and-run that left a bicyclist dead in Iredell County on Thanksgiving.
On Thursday night just before 9 p.m., the North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to a fatal hit-and-run collision in Iredell County on US 64 near Barry Oak Road.
According to NCSHP, a bicyclist was traveling east on US 64 in the travel lane when he was struck from behind by a pickup truck. The bicyclist was ejected from the bicycle, knocked into the opposite lane, and struck by a westbound GMC sport utility vehicle. The GMC immediately stopped. The pickup truck did not stop and continued traveling east on US 64.
The bicyclist, Matthew Franklin Redden, 30, of Statesville, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was dressed in dark clothing and was not wearing a helmet.
Rebecca Childress tells WBTV she didn’t know Thanksgiving would be the last time she’d see her uncle.
“I’m very thankful that his last day I got to spend with him," she said.
The family is in disbelief that the person responsible did not stop at the scene.
“I will never understand where we live in such a cruel world where people can do that. I mean he has a family and he has a family that loves him,” his niece, Tiffany Lewis, said.
They are trying to remember the good times with Redden.
“He was funky in his own way, but he had a heart of gold," Childress said. "He would help anyone who needed help. Such a caring person.”
He lost his peripheral vision when he was young so he could not get a driver’s license, but that didn’t hold him back.
“One of his friends has a little boy who said he loves ice cream so he rode his bike miles just to go buy him some ice cream and come home, like that was the kind of person he was," Lewis said.
Now they want justice for the man they say never deserved this.
“I just ask that you have it in your heart to please come forward," Childress said. "We just need some closure and Matthew needs some closure.”
Officials said the pickup truck driver turned himself in to troopers at the State Highway Patrol office in Iredell County Monday afternoon.
Troopers were searching for the pickup truck, described as a dark-colored 1994-2002 Dodge Ram with a loud exhaust and a lift. On Monday, investigators located and secured the pickup truck.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call 911 or the Highway Patrol Communications Center at 828-466-5500.
The collision remains under investigation and no further information was released.
According to investigators, another bicyclist was killed in a crash a few miles from this location in October.