A Franklin man has been indicted on federal charges following a hit and run crash involving a bicyclist on Natchez Trace Parkway.
On Thursday, a federal grand jury charged 58-year-old Marshall Neely, III, of Franklin, with reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice.
The wreck happened on July 8 when the bicyclist was hit and injured in Williamson County by the driver of a black Volvo, who was later identified as Neely.
Reports stated Neely failed to stop and fled from the scene; however, the crash was captured on a helmet-mounted camera worn by the bicyclist’s cycling partner. (Watch video above. WARNING: Adult language. Video may shock some viewers.)
“Middle Tennessee is an area where bicycle traffic is abundant and growing daily,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith. “Our roads are used both by recreational bicyclists as well as a growing number of citizens who use alternative methods of transportation to get to and from their workplaces. To achieve the sense of community that we all want for our area we must respect the rights of others in our community to live and move about the area. That means drivers of automobiles respecting the right of bicyclists to use our roads and bicyclists respecting the right of drivers to use our roads as well.”
The video captured by the cyclist’s partner was posted online and used to identify the driver as Neely.
According to reports, Neely’s son went to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office late in the afternoon on the day of the crash and identified his father as the driver. He allegedly recognized “Dartmouth,” “Rice,” and “Boston” stickers on the vehicle.
Authorities went to Neely’s home that same evening. The Volvo was parked in the grass behind the garage, and the stickers had been removed from the back windshield.
Officials said they also noticed residue from a cleaning agent on the part of the vehicle that allegedly hit the bicyclist.
Neely was found inside the home unconscious on the floor. When he came to, he told officials a bicyclist had thrown a bicycle at his vehicle. He did admit to removing the stickers to prevent himself from being identified.
“The wanton recklessness exhibited by this defendant could easily have taken the life of the victim in this case,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Smith. “Such indifference to human life cannot be tolerated as it places all our bicycling citizens in grave danger.”
Neely was taken into custody Friday by U.S. National Park Service Rangers. He has been scheduled to appear before a U.S. Magistrate.
He could be facing two to 12 years in prison if convicted on the aggravated assault charge, up to five years for lying to a federal agent, and up to 20 years for obstructing justice.
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