Investigation continues after bicyclist killed in Columbia hit-and-run

(Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A family is grieving after their loved one was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Maury County just eight days before Christmas.

According to police, James Mealer was either pushing or riding his bike south on Riverside Drive when he was hit by a pickup truck Saturday night.

The truck, described as a full-size, dark colored pickup drove away and the 50-year-old man died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

James Mealer (Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)
James Mealer (Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

“My mother can’t get over the face that somebody hit him and just left him there in the rain,” said brother Richard Mealer.

Pam Welch found James and quickly called 911.

“It was horrible to see him lying there so helpless. We called 911, it’s all we could do,” she recalled. “He was alive and moaning like in pain, but he could not respond. He could not say anything.”

In the days since his brother’s death, Richard said he has heard all sorts of stories from James’ longtime co-workers and neighbors.

“We were estranged a little bit, but he was my brother,” Richard said. “He got his life together.”

With his brother unexpectedly gone, Richard said he is upset with all of the things that were left unsaid to his only brother.

Courtesy: Columbia Police Department
Courtesy: Columbia Police Department

“I consider myself a good Christian, but I didn’t reach out to him like I should have and now he is gone,” he said. “I’m hurt I can’t make things right anymore.”

He continued, “We went to a funeral five or six years ago and I see him walking down the street and just passed by him and didn’t bother to see if he needed a ride or anything. I can’t make things right.”

Police said the truck that hit James has damage to its right front fender or headlight.

Police are now urging the driver of the pickup truck to come forward and tell their side of the story.

Anyone with information is urged to call Columbia police at 931-381-4900.