DUPLIN COUNTY - Troopers said a bicyclist was killed Tuesday evening after he was struck by a drunk driver. The collision happened shortly after 7 p.m. on Highway 11, four miles north of Wallace in Duplin County.
Troopers said James Vines, 61, of Teachey, was riding his bicycle along the highway when a vehicle being driven by David Maready, 35, of Chinquapin, allegedly struck Vines from behind. According to the Highway Patrol, Maready initially fled the scene, leaving Vines dead in the middle of the road.
"Wow, I'm sorry to hear that," said Patricia White. White, who lives near the scene of the accident, said she never saw Vines without a reflective safety vest.
"I see him all the time," said White. "He's always at this end or way up at this end, and he did have on a reflector jacket."
Investigators confirmed Vines was wearing a reflective vest on the day of the deadly accident. A friend told NewsChannel 12 that Vines worked in landscaping and had no other means of transportation.
Troopers said this wasn't the first time Maready has gotten into trouble with the law. According to the Highway Patrol, on September 11th, Maready was arrested and charged with driving while impaired in Jacksonville.
Maready is currently being held at the Duplin County jail on a $75,000 unsecured bond. He has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony hit and run, driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.