A University School of Nashville administrator has been charged following a Saturday morning hit-and-run crash on Natchez Trace Parkway that injured a cyclist.
Marshall Grant Neely III, 58, of Franklin was arrested Saturday evening and charged with felony reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to immediately notify of an accident and failure to render aid, said the National Park Service, in a Facebook post.
Park rangers will meet with the U.S. Attorney's Office to consider additional federal charges, the National Park Service said.
Authorities identified Neely as the driver of a black Volvo that struck cyclist Tyler Noe of Nolensville on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Williamson County. The Volvo hit Noe at about 11 a.m. and left the scene. Noe has serious but not life-threatening injuries.
"He looks awful, but he is going to be OK," said Greg Goodman, who was riding alongside Noe and captured the wreck on camera.
Goodman, who is also from Nolensville, shared the footage with investigators. It helped authorities, including U.S. Park Rangers and Williamson County Sheriff’s deputies make the arrest.
Neely was booked into the Williamson County Detention Center Saturday night and his bond was set at $11,500. He posted bond Sunday morning and was released, said Sharon Puckett, spokeswoman for the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.
Jail records show that Neely is an employee of the University School of Nashville, Puckett said. On Saturday night, the private school's website listed Neely as a dean of students. As of Sunday morning, his information was not on the school's website.
The school's spokeswoman Juanita Traughber would not confirm Neely's job title but said he started working at the school in 1995.
"University School of Nashville is aware of this unfortunate incident and reviewing the situation," Traughber said.
The Volvo hit Noe near the northern terminus of the 444-mile scenic road, which is a designated bike route. The Natchez Trace Parkway is administered by the National Park Service.
Acting Chief Ranger Calvin Farmer shared the rules of the road in a statement Sunday, and said that bicycle traffic "increases dramatically" on weekends and holidays.
"In Mississippi and Tennessee, bicyclists are allowed to use the full lane of traffic to ride in when necessary. Federal regulations require bicyclists to ride single file, and riders are encouraged to move to the right to allow for vehicles to pass," Farmer said. "It is also highly recommended riders wear high-visibility clothing and flashing front and rear lights. Vehicle drivers must provide a safe distance when overtaking and passing a bicyclist."
Goodman, 48, knew he and Noe were allowed to ride in the lane on the parkway. But as Goodman and Noe approached a curve in the road about eight miles south of the Highway 96 bridge, an SUV smashed into the back of Noe's bicycle, sending him sprawling to the pavement as the driver sped away without stopping.
"It was Tyler's first day to ride a bike since he was a kid," Goodman said. "On the Natchez Trace, you’re allowed to ride in the lane. There’s signage we are allowed to ride in the lane, not just the shoulder."
While the circumstances of the collision are unclear, Goodman believes it wasn't an accident, and was planning to meet with federal authorities Sunday morning.
"He decided to hit Tyler. And Tyler just got sent home. He’s going to be OK, and he’s banged up pretty bad."
The National Park Services urges anyone who sees aggressive drivers or any unsafe act to call the emergency contact line for Natchez Trace Communications at 1-800-300-7275.