UPDATE: Driver indicted in runner's hit-and-run death - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


UPDATE: Driver indicted in runner's hit-and-run death

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: Police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run that killed a beloved Chattanooga runner last year. Cameron Bean, 28, died two days after the crash on Moccasin Bend Road in September.

This week, a grand jury indicted 59-year-old Valerie Bray on vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. Police arrested her on Thursday night.

Bray initially told police the sun was in her eyes when she crashed, but traffic investigators said they quickly figured out that her statement did not make sense.

"As far as the sun being in her eyes, when she made that statement, we went out there the next day at the exact same time with cameras, filmed, and were able to discredit her," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. David Gibb.

During the course of a three-month investigation, police did a complete reconstruction of the crash scene, conducted multiple interviews, and pulled Bray's phone records.

"Her initial statement to me was she wasn't sure what she hit," Gibb said.

According to police, Bray was driving south, towards the Moccasin Bend facility. Bean was running in that same direction, against traffic, on the other side of the road.

"He was doing the right thing," Gibb said. "He could see the cars coming at him."

Bray crossed the center line, striking the runner from behind. She never stopped or turned around.

"For the running community, it's been a long three months," said Alan Outlaw, Bean's friend and co-worker at Fast Break Athletics.

"He was good as gold," Outlaw said of Bean. "Charismatic, fun, really fast. Special."

Police haven't released what factors may have caused Bray to crash, but a vehicular homicide charge requires some level of negligence by the driver.

"Unfortunately, an indictment doesn't bring Cameron back," said Outlaw. "But it does provide relief to the family and to us as a community that justice is important."

Bray bonded out of jail early Friday morning. The 59-year-old is set to be arraigned in criminal court on January 22.

PREVIOUS STORY: A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted a 60-year-old woman for striking and fatally injuring a local professional runner in September.

Valerie J. Bray was indicted on several charges including vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident for the hit-and-run death of 28-year-old Cameron Bean.

Chattanooga police served a warrant and arrested Bray late Thursday night. She posted a $75,000 bond early Friday morning just 4.5 hours after being booked into the Hamilton County Jail.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Police ID driver who struck and fatally injured professional runner

Bean was running near the shoulder and against the flow of traffic on Moccasin Bend Road Sept. 19 when he was hit. Police say Bray kept driving and later told them she did not see the runner because the sun was in her eyes. Bean was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he died days later.

Investigators spent the last several months gathering facts before presenting its case to the grand jury Tuesday. Their investigation included interviews with Bray, downloading electronic data from her vehicle and reconstructing the crash and verifying road conditions from that Saturday evening.

Bray appears to have a relatively clean driving history. The only blemish from court records is a speeding citation in 1999.  

READ MORE | Cameron Bean's father will race the IRONMAN on Sunday, in memory of his son

Powered by Frankly