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Driver admits to killing cyclist and hiding body in truck, leaving severed leg at the scene

Police in Fort Smith, Arkansas, arrested the motorist after the victim’s leg was found at the scene of the collision

A driver has been charged with manslaughter following a hit-and-run incident involving a cyclist in Arkansas, during which the motorist hid the victim in his truck, minus a severed leg that was found at the scene, before driving off.

According to police in Fort Smith, which is near the border with Oklahoma, James Ray Jones was arrested after surveillance footage showed him fleeing the scene of the collision at 8pm last Friday night.

Early on Saturday morning, police received reports of a body part found in the road where the crash occurred, and later confirmed that it belonged to 57-year-old cyclist Christopher West. West’s body was reportedly later found inside Jones’ truck.

Roads were closed in Fort Smith for several hours as the police investigated the area.

> Cyclist seriously injured by hit-and-run lorry driver was riding 3,000 miles in memory of niece

Using the footage of the incident, police were able to track down Jones, who was taken into custody on Saturday, where he confessed during the police interview to striking the cyclist with his pickup truck. Jones reportedly said that he ‘panicked’ following the collision.

Fort Smith Police Department said that the truck driver was charged with manslaughter and for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. He is reportedly being held on a $50,000 (£36,898) bond in Sebastian County Jail.

A local resident told KFSM 5News that this isn’t the first time that a cyclist has been struck in the area and blamed the lack of lighting in Fort Smith for the collisions.

“I don't want to see anybody get hurt, certainly not see anybody get killed,” she said.

“And part of the problem is that it gets very dark in this neighbourhood on Grand and on certain intersections.”

Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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