Man accused in hit-and-run crash that killed bicyclist taken into custody

NEWTON, N.C. — Authorities said a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist in Caldwell County was taken into custody outside of Raleigh Wednesday.

Investigators said 55-year-old Charles Bean is charged with felony hit-and-run.

Charles Bean

(Charles Bean)

The crash happened just after 11:30 a.m. last Thursday on U.S. 221 near Grandfather Mountain.

On Monday, the Highway Patrol released photos of the suspected driver and minivan involved in the wreck after authorities got a tip the vehicle was spotted at a gas station in Boone.

Officials said a minivan crossed a double-yellow line in a curve, hit 61-year-old Ignacio Giraldo head-on and continued without stopping.

Troopers said Giraldo, of Miami, was cycling with a group of people, including his daughter, Juliana Cauley.

“I was hoping to look back and see my dad behind me,” Cauley said.

She was stunned when the driver didn’t stop.

“The second it happened, I started running behind the car saying ‘Please, please stop,’” Cauley said.

She said, at one point, the driver slowed down but kept going.

“Why he didn’t stop and help?” Cauley said.

He was airlifted to a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee and died Saturday.

“That was his passion,” Cauley said Monday. “He will never stop riding his bike.”

Investigators said they were searching for a charcoal gray 2005 to 2010 Toyota Sienna minivan missing a large piece of the right, front bumper with damage to the windshield, passenger side and side mirror.

The minivan had stickers on the back including, Batman, YETI and UNC Tar Heel stickers.

Authorities said they started receiving tips in Raleigh about possible sightings of the suspect just hours after the surveillance photos were released.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information. 

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