NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2006
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420

Woman Charged in Deadly Hit and Run

     A Destin resident Thursday told investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office she’s the driver who hit and killed a bicyclist on Airport Road earlier this week. 41-year old Lory R. West of 28 Osage Court had her attorney, Drew Pinkerton, contact the Sheriff’s Office Thursday to report her involvement. West is now charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, a second degree felony.                         

     36-year old Elcio Nasareno Pimentel of 955 Airport Road, Apartment 1211 , a construction worker from Brazil , was hit as he rode his bike westbound on Airport Road around 8:40 Wednesday night.  Pimentel was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities now believe West struck Pimentel with her red Chevrolet pick-up truck and continued eastbound. She is currently free on $25,000 bond.

    Traffic Homicide Investigator Mark Raiche says West claims she kept driving because she panicked. Members of the Traffic Homicide Investigations Unit and the Criminal Investigations Division took part in the investigation leading to the arrest. The probe is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office at 651-7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS.