Arrest warrant issued for driver in fatal pickup-bicycle crash

An arrest warrant has been issued for the driver of a pickup involved in a fatal accident with a bicyclist in July, police said Thursday.

Robert H. Fleming, 56, has been charged with failure to yield and no insurance in the July 29 crash that killed Susan M. DeSotel, of Cedar Rapids. Two addresses are listed for Fleming in the police report, in Cedar Rapids and Alburnett, but police have been unable to locate him.

“We don’t know that he left town for sure, but he’s not making himself available to officers,” Sgt. Mike Wallerstedt said. “If he remained local, we’ll run into him again sooner or later.”

Fleming was driving north on C Street SW when he turned in front of DeSotel, who was southbound, at Wilson Avenue Drive SW, police said. DeSotel suffered head injuries and died four days later.

The arrest warrant stays active for several years, police said. If he still isn’t found, the warrant can be extended. The information is in a national database, so it would alert any officer who checked Fleming’s name, Wallerstedt said.

“Periodically, we check the addresses, but after a while, it becomes redundant,” Wallerstedt said.

Wallerstedt said it’s rare that a driver will disappear, especially after a fatal accident.

“Just because we can’t find him right now doesn’t mean it goes away,” he said.

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