A former private school dean will plead guilty to a hit and run in federal court this month.
On July 8, 2017, Marshal Grant Neely III, 58, of Franklin Tenessee, hit a cyclist on the road and proceeded to then leave the scene of the accident. He is charged with reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, as well as obstruction of justice.
The cyclist he hit, Tyler Noe of Nolensville, was riding with his friend on Natchez Trace Parkway when Neely’s black Volvo sped up and hit Noe from behind. Noe, who got up immediately following the accident, was taken to the hospital. His friend stated at the time of the incident that “[Noe’s] going to be OK, and he’s banged up pretty bad.”
After hitting Noe, Neely sped away down the highway.
Noe’s friend, Greg Goodman, also from Nolensville, was riding alongside Noe and had a camera attached to his helmet. Goodman caught the hit-and-run on video, which he then posted to Facebook and gave to National Parks Service rangers, according to Franklin Patch.
In Tenessee and Mississippi, their respective stretches of the 444-mile road allow for cyclists to ride in vehicle lanes. Bicycles outnumber cars in the world two to one, with more than one million bikes in existence — making cyclists a commonality of roadway driving.
According to Goodman, he believes that Neely intentionally hit Noe with his car. The video shows a white pick up truck speed past the duo, followed by Neely’s Volvo crashing into the back of Noe’s bike and sending him to the ground. Neely provided a statement to the police upon his arrest, stating “that a man and woman were standing in the road and threw a bicycle at his car,” although the Franklin Patch also writes that “he admitted he didn’t really remember what was happening at the time.”
A hearing is scheduled for May 21 after Neely’s attorneys gave notice of a plea change. Prior to the hearing, the prosecutors and defense will meet to make a plea deal.
Before being arrested for the hit-and-run, Neely was the dean of students at the University School of Nashville. Following the incident, he was placed on leave before leaving the school entirely.
The University School of Nashville is a prestigious school, ranking at or close to the top spot on Tenessee’s leaderboard for National Merit Scholars. It enrolls over 1,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12. About 95% of graduates from non-parochial high school grads, such as the ones from USN, go to four-year universities and institutions, compared to only 49% of graduates from public schools. Unfortunately, the University School of Nashville didn’t account for a hit-and-run dean.