DNR officer charged with fatal hit-and-run on James Island

James Island fatal accident
Jeffery Thomas (Source: Charleston County Detention Center)
Jeffery Thomas (Source: Charleston County Detention Center)

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has charged a DNR officer after they say he struck and killed a cyclist with his 2001 Ford Explorer and then left the scene on Riverland Drive before authorities arrived.

Deputies arrested and charged 46-year-old Jeffery Lewis Thomas, of Mount Pleasant, with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Authorities say Thomas, a deputy law enforcement officer with the Department of Natural Resources, struck the bicyclist around 9:30 p.m.  Thomas then got out and checked on the victim, but left the scene and drove towards West Ashley, according to Major Jim Brady.

The Sheriff's office says Thomas returned to the scene at approximately 30 to 40 minutes later.

The Charleston County Coroner's Office has identified the victim as 40-year-old Matthew Denton of James Island. Denton died at the scene of the accident.

Thomas went before a judge Saturday morning where his bond was set at $20,000.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Copyright WCSC 2012. All rights reserved.