Driver in fatal hit-and-run faces charges

Driver in fatal hit-and-run faces charges

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Days after a hit and run in Horry County a driver is facing serious charges after the bicyclist he’s accused of hitting died in the hospital.

The accident involving a 2004 Toyota SUV and a man on a bicycle happened on Holmestown Road on January 30, around 6:00 p.m., according to South Carolina Highway Patrol.

According to Corporal Sonny Collins with South Carolina Highway Patrol, Laurence Flanegan’s vehicle was traveling in the same direction as Vincent Gimeno’s bicycle. Flanegan’s vehicle side-swiped the bicycle causing Gimeno traumatic injuries.

Gimeno was transported to Grand Strand Hospital where he died on Tuesday at 2:50 p.m., according to Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard.

Flanegan, of Myrtle Beach, is charged with driving too fast for conditions, failure to acquire valid tags, and hit and run resulting in great bodily injury, according to J. Reuben Long Detention Center. He is expected to appear before a magistrate judge on Wednesday for a bond hearing.

Gimeno's sister said he had just left her house, on his way home when his bike was hit.

"There is no part of me that understands how somebody could just hit somebody that hard to have parts fly off your car and keep going...," Lorraine DeSalvatore, one of Gimeno's sisters, said.

Gimeno's injuries were so traumatic doctors told his family there was no hope that he would survive.

"I think if he would have stopped, maybe my brother would still be here right now," Susan Riedy, Gimeno's older sister said. "I'm angry about that, and I know that my brother would want justice."

Gimeno's life was taken while doing something he loved.

"He would ride his bike 10 miles, get off, change his shirt, then walk 5 miles," DeSalvatore said.

Gimeno's family never expected Tuesday they would have to make one of the most difficult decisions of their lives: to take their brother off life support.

"It's hard to see him lay there - you just think he's going to open his eyes..." DeSalvatore said.

It was a sad goodbye they hope no other family ever has to make.

"I would just hope that people would have a conscience to care about other human beings," Riedy said.

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