Reward offered for info about driver who left scene of fatal bicycle collision in 2003

A bit of good news--a Highway Patrol Lieutenant is taking seriously the job of finding the person who killed bicyclist Claude Delaney Minner in December 2003. The highway patrol has put out a reward and gotten press coverage.

According to the article in the Sikeston Standard Democrat:
Missouri Highway Patrol Lt. Jim McNiell said he still hopes to learn who killed Claude DeLaney Minner on Dec. 3, 2003. The enticement of a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the driver of the vehicle that ran over Minner could bring a witness forward, he said. . . .

This is the first time in his 28 years as a highway patrol officer that a reward has been offered in an effort to solve a hit-and-run case, McNiell said.

“We are trying to expend every effort to solve this,” he said. “We still feel like it is a local person who ran over him and we hope the reward will help entice someone who knows something to come forward.”

The accident occurred at 5 p.m. Dec. 3, 2003, at Route U at New Madrid’s city limits. Minner was riding a bicycle and although some daylight remained, the Patrol’s report notes the weather was rainy and foggy.

Minner’s bicycle was struck in the rear by an eastbound vehicle. The force of the blow threw Minner onto the hood of the car, where he remained briefly before sliding off into the center of the road. The car’s driver stopped following the accident.

A second motorist swerved to avoid striking the man, who was now lying across the roadway. The woman driver, a nurse, turned her car around, hoping to be able to aid Minner.

She later told officers she saw a black extended-cab truck approaching the man and despite her efforts to alert the driver to the situation she watched the vehicle run over Minner. The witness said the driver, a young white male wearing a baseball cap, left the scene.

An autopsy indicated the fatal injuries to Minner were caused by the second vehicle to strike Minner, the extended-cab truck.

“We have very few leaving-the-scene accidents we don’t solve but there are some,” said McNiell. In this case, he explained, there was no evidence left at the scene; Minner was killed by the wheels running over him. . . .

Hopefully, McNiell continued, the reward will bring someone forward with the information. “We have never forgotten Delaney Minner,” he said. “This case will stay open until we get it solved.”

Those who have information about the crime can contact McNiell at the Troop E substation in Sikeston at 472-5200, extension 2221 or Ward at the New Madrid County Sheriff’s office at 748-2516.