Friends of James McKinnie, MDOT Co-Workers, Civil Air Patrol, Magnolia Rifle and Pistol Club, Bicyclists, Runners, and News Media
As most of you know my brother James Steven McKinnie at the age of 51 was killed in a hit and run bicycle accident on June 30, 2005 on the I-55 Frontage Road near his home in Byrum, MS while training for an upcoming 26-mile marathon running race on July 4, 2005. James was riding North on a straight and level stretch of the frontage road in front of the Pentecostal Church with all the required safety equipment on including his helmet. While riding his bicycle a truck heading the same direction and driven by Frank S. Sneider hit James from behind on the driver side hitting him and throwing him some 50-75 feet down the frontage road while the driver swerved off the side of the road and left the scene of the accident. Three eye witnesses saw the accident and stopped to help James along with Cecilia Kazary an off-duty MS Highway Patrolman and her husband. James was rushed to the University Medical Center with severe injuries to the head, a completely crushed left shoulder, and his right leg completely broke. James lost a tremendous amount of blood before reaching the hospital and required over 60 units of blood just to stabilize his injuries. The Neurological surgeon doctors did all they could to try to stabilize James but the blood pressure in his brain rose to levels that completely starved his brain of oxygen causing numerous strokes and he passed away on July 4, 2005.
James worked for MDOT as General Accounting Manager and was an avid bicyclist, marathon runner, Major in the Civil Air Patrol, Expert Marksman (winning the State Highpower Championship several times), and most of all a tireless dedicated Christian who cared for all people. James also ran the bookstore at his church so all the children could have books to read.
James was not married and was planning to ask his girlfriend whom he trained with to marry him. James spoke to some of his closest friends about marriage and he spent a lot of time with his nieces and nephews. James was a very dedicated person who worked hard at everything he did. Some of his closest friends did not know about the numerous awards he had received on behalf of the NRA shooting matches he participated in nationwide and in his marathon running with the MS Track Club who came in fourth in his age group even after his death.
The multitude of news articles from the Clinton News and Clarion-Ledger showed his character very well. James also was able to donate his heart, both kidneys and his liver to those in need. Today four people are alive because of James.
I am telling you all this because the Grand Jury met on Wednesday February 8th and indicted Frank S. Sneider who was arrested on December 27, 2005 and is in jail today because he can’t make bail. Mr. Sneider age 31 has a history of DUI, is a meth drug addict, and even has an FBI profile. The only reason he was found and arrested was because his truck was impounded by the Clinton Police Department after they arrested him on another DUI offense, driving without a license, and not having any auto insurance. The impounded vehicle was reported to Crimestoppers and the Hwy Patrol Investigators finally tracked him down on December 27th.
The only charge that the Hinds DA are charging him with is a felony leaving the scene of an accident charge which only carries a maximum of five years. James bicycle even had paint from the truck on it but the Hwy Patrol could not determine his speed because he did not check up at all or if he was drunk or on drugs. The Hinds DA didn’t even charge him with driving without a license or having no liability insurance.
I learned of the indictment on Wednesday at noon and was told that Mr. Sneider could possibly plea bargain and get off with time served and maybe 3 years probation all the while confessing that he hit and killed James while leaving him for dead on the road like a stray dog. According to MS Hwy Patrol officials he shows no remorse for this crime and continually lies about everything and If it wasn’t for the dedicated Hwy Patrol investigators in this case it would have been thrown out and this man would be on the road again to hurt someone else. This man does not care who he hurts and only wants what he wants and doesn’t care who he hurts to get it. James meant a lot to his family, friends, co-workers, church, and a multitude of people with his quiet personality and caring attitude. James was the oldest child of four in our family and I am the second oldest. James assigned me to be his Executor of his Estate in his will and I believe that it is my responsibility to stand up for what James would have done if it had happened to me.
I am asking each of you to help me send a message to the Hinds County DA office that this case should be tried with a lot of effort to keep this person off the street and from hurting someone else’s family. It has been very hard on me personally to do the things I have had to do and I trust God will give me the strength and courage to stand up for my family and all of James friends and co-workers. As a Christian I have prayed for this man to repent of his sin but he has not. Please help me put pressure on the Hinds Assistant DA Robert Taylor and Judge Green who will hear the case, to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, and stand up for what is morally right. Now is the time to pursue sending letters, doing news articles, and most of all standing up for your rights as a citizen.
I would appreciate the News Media that you only talk to me as spokesman for my family because my parents have endured so much and are very weary. Closure means a lot to my family right now and I am seeking your help. Please forward this e-mail to your friends, co-workers, and anyone that can help in this matter.
Thank you and God Bless You.
Sincerely, Charles A. McKinnie
e-mail: [email protected]