CMPD: CDOT employee charged; accused of hitting, killing motorcyclist in west Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg detectives have charged a Charlotte Department of Transportation employee after they say his truck hit and killed a motorcyclist in west Charlotte last month.

MEDIC confirmed to Channel 9 that one person was killed in the Aug. 9 crash, which happened at about 11 a.m. on Freedom Drive. Channel 9 later learned that it was a CDOT employee who is accused of striking the bike and killing the rider.

CMPD identified the victim in the crash as Patrick Carlos Ramia, 81. Police say Ramia was riding east on Freedom Drive in the center lane when he merged in front of a CDOT pickup truck being driven by Morris Vanba Massalay. Police say the front of Massalay’s pickup truck hit the motorcycle, and Ramia fell onto the road. Ramia was then hit again by the pickup truck.

On Friday, CMPD said Massalay has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision. CDOT shared the following statement with Channel 9:

“The city is aware that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department charged a city employee with Misdemeanor Death by Vehicle and Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Collision. The city is reviewing this issue.”

Channel 9 confirmed through city records that Massalay works for CDOT, and the city confirmed to Channel 9 in a statement that Massalay was in a CDOT pickup truck at the time of the crash. The city told Channel 9 that Massalay was placed on administrative leave, pending the final results of the investigation.

A section of Freedom Drive between Camp Greene Street and Berryhill Road was closed to traffic for the crash investigation. Chopper 9 Skyzoom was over the scene as police blocked both directions of traffic. The roadway was reopened by that afternoon.

Police asked any witnesses to the crash, or anyone with information concerning the crash, to call Detective Pressley at 704-432-2169 extension 3, or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. The public can also leave information anonymously by visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

>>Keep updated with Channel 9′s live traffic map at this link.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Man dies in northeast Charlotte motorcycle crash, police say)