The woman who struck and killed a bicyclist near Lenox, Iowa, on Saturday morning said she thought she had hit a deer, authorities said Monday.
Gerald O. Williams, 58, of Lenox was killed when an eastbound 2009 Chevrolet Malibu struck him on Taylor County Road J13, about 1½ miles east of town.
Jessica May Brown, 23, of Lenox was driving on the road about 9:15 a.m. when she hit Williams, according to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.
Brown told others that she thought she had struck a deer, a Sheriff’s Office press release said, and she tried to find the animal without success.
The next morning, Williams was reported missing after he didn’t pick up his wife at the train station. After a search, his bike and body were found about 9:30 a.m. Sunday in tall grass along the road.
“It was a fairly level stretch of road,” said Jon Huggins, police chief of Lenox. “There didn’t appear to be anything that would have obstructed (anyone’s) view or otherwise been an impediment to seeing him.”
The accident was still under investigation.
Williams was the street superintendent in Lenox, a town of about 1,400 about 95 miles southeast of Omaha.
“He was just easy to get along with,” said Bob Halligan, mayor pro tem of Lenox. Williams “did his job well.”
A private family service was planned.
“He was just a very personable nice guy, dedicated to his job,” Huggins said. “It’s just a true tragedy. ... In a small town where everybody knows everyone, it hits close to home.”