Man Accused in Fatal Crash Put Pillow Under Cyclist's Head Before Driving Away: Police

Driver facing a charge of accident involving death says he called 911 and went to see if he could help the cyclist before he left the scene

Dallas Police

The driver accused of fatally striking a cyclist in Dallas on Sept. 11 talked with the victim and put a pillow under his head before driving away from the scene, according to police.

In an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by NBC 5, Dallas Police said Kenneth Lloyd Conners was driving a white 2017 Chevy Trax along the 12900 block of Kleberg Road at about 7 a.m. when he crashed into Billy Joe Watley.

Watley was headed southbound in the right lane of the road when he was struck from behind and thrown to the ground.

The driver, identified by police as Conners, stopped and attempted to talk to the man to see if he could help him. Police said Conners saw that the cyclist was seriously injured and called 911 and then went back to his vehicle to get a pillow, which he put under Watley's head.

Police said Conners got spooked when he heard approaching sirens and then went back to his vehicle and left the scene. Police said he didn't leave any identifying information with either 911 operators or at the scene.

Investigators with the Dallas Police Department released earlier this week home surveillance video showing a white car crash into Watley. In the video, the driver can be seen exiting the vehicle and walking toward the cyclist before returning to his car and leaving.

After the video was released to the public, Dallas Police said they received anonymous tips about where the white car might be located along with the name of a possible suspect. Officers obtained a search warrant and found a vehicle with damage they said was consistent with a crash involving a bicycle.

The owner of the car, identified by police as Conners, was contacted by police and he agreed to meet for an interview at a local Starbucks. Police said Conners admitted to being behind the wheel at the time of the crash and said he was the only person in the car at the time. He said he called 911 but "was afraid when he heard the sirens."

Conners was arrested on a charge of an accident involving death. It's not clear if he's obtained an attorney.

According to TxDOT, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths accounted for 20% of the 4,490 fatalities on Texas roadways in 2021.

Over Labor Day weekend, TxDOT launched its pedestrian and bicyclist safety campaign as an additional part of the “Be Safe. Drive Smart” initiative. The campaign runs through Sept. 15.

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