McKinney police are investigating a crash involving a North Texas mayor that left a motorcyclist with serious injuries.
A Collin County grand jury will determine whether Prosper Mayor Ray Smith will face charges in the incident.
The crash happened at about 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the 3900 block of Highway 380 in McKinney.
In a press release released Tuesday afternoon, McKinney police said their investigation found driver Mia Rho failed to yield while turning onto W. University Drive, causing Smith to slam on his brakes.
Police said 72-year-old Rodney Carver was riding his motorcycle too close behind Smith’s pickup truck and crashed into the back bumper.
Carver was rushed to a local hospital with serious injuries to his head.
Smith told police he thought a car hit him from behind and was trying to flee the scene, so he took off after the car. Smith told NBC 5 he did not call the police while ‘chasing’ after the car he thought had crashed into his truck.
Smith insisted he did not know a motorcyclist was hurt.
“I’ve been praying for him ever since that night,” said Smith during a brief interview with NBC 5.
When asked if this was simply a horrible accident, Smith replied: “I’m a born-again Christian. I believe in Jesus and I’ve been praying for him.”
Smith, a former town council member, was elected Prosper mayor in 2010. His current term ends in May 2022.
Barbara Carver, the wife of the man riding the motorcycle, said her husband is the president of a motorcycle club and is deeply involved in the community. She said he was heading home from work in Plano when the crash happened.
“I’m very disappointed in this gentleman [Smith] for leaving my husband abandoned on the street to be potentially be run over again,” said Carver.
She said Carver is in a medically induced coma and has undergone an MRI to determine the severity of head injuries.
Smith said the Prosper chief of police and officers from Prosper and McKinney went to his house following the crash.
The spokesperson for McKinney police said officers administered a field sobriety test and determined Smith was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Police later contacted Rho who is accused of ‘failing to yield right of way.’
The police department did not confirm Smith was involved in the crash when asked repeatedly by NBC 5.
As for whether the mayor could face charges in the crash, McKinney police said: ‘Our investigation found that Smith left the scene instead of stopping to determine if a person was involved in the accident and determine whether that person required aid, as required by law. For that reason, a grand jury referral for an accident involving personal injury has been filed with the Collin County District Attorney’s Office.’
Todd Rice, spokesman for the Town of Prosper, released the following statement to NBC 5:
‘The Town is aware of but cannot comment on the incident that is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the McKinney Police Department. Most importantly, our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the individual who was seriously injured, for whom we wish a speedy and successful recovery.’