NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Two people were killed after a pickup truck driving in the wrong direction on the Main Street Bridge crashed into a bicyclist.
Police say the driver, identified as 53-year-old John Fizgerald Blanks, was involved in a hit-and-run at 5th Street then sped down Main Street towards the bridge going the wrong way and hitting the cyclist, who has been identified as 52-year-old Ricky Anderson of North Little Rock.
Blanks had been an inmate at the Cummins Unit and was released on March 14, according to NLRPD's Sergeant Brian Dedrick. Blanks then stole the truck he eventually wrecked. The truck wasn't reported stolen because the owner thought another family member had taken the truck.
Anderson was reportedly a man who was a regular at some of the missions nearby. His death shook bike riders who know it could've been them.
George Espinoza said a friend called him to make sure he wasn't the one who was hit and killed Wednesday afternoon.
"Every single day, I ride my bike around here, and I make sure I'm careful, because these people that drive their cars real fast don't watch for people that ride their bikes,” said Espinoza.
But police say this wasn't a simple case of not paying attention. Officers say it appears to be a series of bad decisions made by the driver of the blue pickup truck, which began with a small crash five blocks away.
Police do not expect toxicology reports to come back for six to eight more weeks. Stay with THV11 and thv11.com for more details as they become available.