Solicitor: Man sentenced in fatal hit and run of bicyclist in Sp - FOX Carolina 21

Solicitor: Man sentenced in fatal hit and run of bicyclist in Spartanburg Co.

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Morris Edward Davis (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) Morris Edward Davis (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)
Scene of hit-and-run crash on US 221 in Spartanburg Co. (FOX Carolina/ 6/29/17) Scene of hit-and-run crash on US 221 in Spartanburg Co. (FOX Carolina/ 6/29/17)

An Upstate man will spend more than a decade behind bars after admitting to fleeing the scene of a fatal hit-and-run crash in 2017, according to Solicitor Barry Barnette's office.

Troopers said the hit-and-run suspect, later identified as 55-year-old Morris Edward Davis, turned himself in after a fatal Spartanburg County crash took the life of a bicyclist.

Troopers said the crash happened just before 4:45 p.m. on June 29, 2017 along US 221 at Cook Street. It was initially reported as a hit-and-run with injuries, blocking the roadway at one point.According to Trooper Joe Hovis, the suspect involved in the crash was driving a champagne colored Chevrolet Suburban SUV, and was last seen traveling north on US 221 out of Spartanburg. The SUV was also pulling a utility trailer carrying an orange lawn mower.

Troopers confirmed that the 57-year-old bicyclist from Chesnee was fatally injured in the wreck. He was later identified as Dale A. Willenberg, per the coroner.

The Solicitor's Office said Davis initially got out of his vehicle to check on Willenberg, but fled the scene in his car before law enforcement arrived, and failed to identify himself to bystanders.

Willenberg was wearing a helmet during the collision and transported to the hospital where he later died at 3:25 p.m. on Friday, troopers say. An autopsy revealed his cause of death as closed head and body trauma, per the coroner.

On Friday, June 30, troopers said Morris Edward Davis turned himself in to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office around 12:54 p.m. He was arrested, transported to the Spartanburg County Jail and initially charged with leaving a scene with personal injury.

Willenberg passed away from his injuries a short time after Davis turned himself in, said Solicitor Barnette.

After the death of Willenberg, Davis' charges were upgraded to hit and run resulting in death, per warrants.

Davis admitted that he had looked down to check his cell phone before the crash, and he was also found to be driving with a suspended license and without insurance. He had prior convictions for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine.

On January 10, 2018, Davis received a 25 year prison sentence suspended to 12.5 years behind bars with 5 years probation.

MORE NEWS: Troopers: Driver cited in crash killing Spartanburg officer on motorcycle

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