Man charged with hit-and-run that killed Strathroy cyclist

A man has been charged with a hit-and-run that killed a Strathroy father who was cycling on a rural road on Thanksgiving Monday.

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A man has been charged with a hit-and-run that killed a Strathroy father who was cycling on a rural road on Thanksgiving Monday.

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Middesex OPP said Friday Frederick Earhart, 51, of Brooke-Alvinston is charged with failing to stop in a fatal crash. He was arrested Thursday and taken into custody for a bail hearing scheduled for Friday, police said.

Johannes Smolders, a 45-year-old father of two, was cycling on the evening of October 11 on Calvert Drive, south-west of Strathroy, when he was struck and knocked off his bike, police said. He died at the scene.

Smolders is survived by his wife and two children. He has volunteered with several organizations including the Boy Scouts, the Kerwood Optimist Club and local soccer clubs.

Following the accident, the police asked the driver to surrender. Days after the crash, police say investigators determined the vehicle that struck Smolders was an older model Dodge Dakota or Dodge Durango with damage to the front passenger side corner and headlight assembly. .

Police have asked auto repair shops and repair centers to be on the lookout for a damaged vehicle matching this description or someone coming to buy replacement parts.

In a video released by police over Christmas, Sonia Freiter, Smolders’ widow, described the pain her husband’s death had caused the family and urged the driver to come forward.

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