CHARLESTON — A Charleston man was arrested following a hit-and-run accident that led to the death of a bicyclist south of Charleston on Saturday night.
Samuel L. Meadows, 21, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, according to a news release from the Coles County Sheriff’s Office.
Leonard J. Beachy, 16, of Flat Rock in Crawford County, who was one of five bicyclists hit by a vehicle during the accident, was later pronounced dead at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. The other cyclists also needed medical attention.
The accident occurred at 9:10 p.m. Saturday on Lincoln Highway Road, also known as South Fourth Street Road, just north of Bent Tree Golf Course, according to the sheriff’s office.
The bicyclists were members of the Crawford County Amish community and had been to the Horse Progress Days event in the Arcola area and were returning home when the accident occurred, said detective John Clough, the sheriff’s office’s accident investigator. All the bicycles had lights, and the riders were wearing reflective clothing and helmets, Clough said.
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According to the news release, a car hit the bicyclists then left the scene, and Meadows was arrested about three hours later after he was found driving a car matching the description of the one in the accident.
Three of the other cyclists — Timothy L. Zehr, 19, Truman J. Beachy, 27, and Jonathan J. Beachy, 24, all of Flat Rock — were taken to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, which doesn’t release information on the condition or treatment of its patients.
Another cyclist, Javin M. Lehman, 20, of Robinson was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana. A Carle representative confirmed Monday that Lehman was still in the hospital, but a report on his condition was unavailable.
Clough said Leonard Beachy was at the end of the line of bicycles and was hit first, followed by Lehman.
Meadows is being held in Coles County jail, pending a court appearance and the filing of formal charges.