JOHNS, MS (WLBT) - Just across from a cemetery on Highway 18 in the small Rankin County town of Johns, you'll find a pair of eye glasses and a piece of a bike pedal.
It's an eerie glimpse into the death of 48-year-old Samuel Sanderford. He was riding his bike around 6:25 Thursday morning, when a grey Dodge Dakota pickup truck crashed into him, then fled down the road.
According to authorities, the driver involved in a fatal hit and run was taken into custody in Smith county Thursday evening, and was later transported to the Rankin County Sheriff's Department.
According to authorities, the impact of the crash shattered the vehicle's passenger side window and knocked out the side mirror.
Sanderford was thrown 30 feet. His shoe flew across the street. His belongings, which included a bag of food, measuring tape, and a hammer, were still on his bike.
Neighbors say the man often rode his bike through town, and lived in a trailer next to the home he was building on Highway 43 in Brandon.
"He was a nice man, stayed pretty much to himself. I helped him build his house over here. He was a good man," said Scott Harrell, Sanderford's immediate neighbor. "I hung out with him most times, we cooked out, had barbeques. He really didn't mess with nobody, stayed to himself most of the time."
Sanderford was a registered sex offender, and neighbors tell us he recently returned from rehab.
Harrell remembers the last thing Sanderford said to him.
"[He said] 'Have a nice day. I'll see you later.' He asked me what I was doing. I told him I was riding a 4-wheeler, he said, 'be careful, have a good time.' I said alright, I'll see you later," said Harrell.
"People ride this road every morning. For something like this to happen, it is devastating to community," said Sgt. James Walker, Mississippi Highway Patrol.
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