James Powell Charydczak, 26, of Altus, was killed when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a 2000 Toyota pickup driven by Chad Thomas Kelly, 30, last month. Charges were later sent to the Jackson County District Attorney’s office of failing to stop or comply with requirements when involved in an accident involving death. On Thursday, Kelly was arrested for manslaughter in the first degree.
He had his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon before Judge Leverett. Bond was set at $25,000. He was represented by David Cummins of Hollis.
Reports show that both Charydczak and the Kelly were east bound in the outside lane of traffic when the accident occurred. Murphy said that Kelly told police that he had just left Whataburger restaurant when he turned on the dome light, inside his vehicle, and reached for food when he “hit something.”
According to reports, after the impact, Kelly left the scene and continued to drive east. Altus Police Chief Murphy said that Kelly then called 9-1-1 stating he “thought he had just hit something, but didn’t know what.” Kelly was said to have driven to his residence on N. Chalmers where officers later made contact with him. Chief Murphy said that Kelly was then taken to the police department to be interviewed.
While at the Kelly residence, Chief Murphy said that officers noticed considerable damage to the pickup Kelly was driving, which included damage to the front, the hood and windshield.
The investigation showed that the bicycle Charydczak was riding was properly equipped with both a headlight and a rear reflector. After impact, Charydcak was thrown approximately 140 feet east of the original point of impact.
Kelly’s next court appearance is set for 2:15 p.m. on April 8.