Witness called 911, provided license tag that led police to suspect in bicyclist’s death, arrest report shows

Local News

Tyrrell Smith (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A witness who followed a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist Saturday night got a license tag and returned to the scene to help police, according to a police report.

Tyrrell Smith, 34, faces charges of DUI/reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident. On Wednesday, authorities identified the bicyclist as Michael McConnell, 60.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court Friday at 7:30 a.m.

Officers used information provided by Andres Espinoza, who called 911 as he was following a silver Dodge Challenger that was involved in the crash. He stopped and returned to the scene with the car’s license plate number. Espinoza and another witness reported the accident, which happened just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Police tracked the vehicle information to the registered owner, Smith, and got his address.

A car matching the description was parked near at an apartment complex in the southwest part of the valley. Officers went to Smith’s apartment and arrested him.

A witness, told officers he was passed out in the back bedroom, and that he often drives drunk, according to the arrest report.

In the same witness account of the report, that same witness told police “Smith is drunk almost every day, ” and added that “Tyrrell was out all day, ” and “that he was at the (Orleans Casino)”. The witness further added “that Tyrrell goes to the casino when he intends to get drunk” and that “Tyrrell likes to drink vodka and Crown Royal but will drink anything to get drunk,” according to the arrest report.

Espinoza told officers he had been driving westbound on Tropicana in the middle lane when he saw a bicycle on the far right side of the roadway, according to police. The bike had a blinking red light on the back and a white light on the front.

He told police he heard a loud bang as he passed the bike, and checked his rearview mirror, seeing the bicycle light on the ground.

“He looked to the right, and a silver Dodge passed him in the right lane at a high rate of speed,” according to the arrest report.

He saw the car run a red light at Durango and head southbound before he turned back to assist police.

Police found evidence the Dodge Challenger had been involved in a crash with the bicycle — a broken bumper, a crease in the hood, and a dent on the right rear passenger door. Red paint found on the front of the car was consistent with the red bicycle, the arrest report said.

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