Coal Valley man found not guilty in fatal bicycle accident

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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - UPDATE 10/24/18: James Norton of Coal Valley was found not guilty in the June fatal bicycle accident.

Courtesy: MGN Online

The decision came through a directed verdict.

ORIGINAL: A Quad City family is looking for answers after it took four months to bring charges against the man police say hit and killed their son while he was riding his bicycle on I-74.

Responding officers found a bicycle crashed into the sidewall of I-74 and the rider had gone over the rail and sidewall landing onto I-280 and traffic.

October 27th, 47 year-old James Norton of Coal Valley was charged with Reckless Homicide in the case. His first court date is set for December 4th of this year. If convicted, he could face two to five years in prison.

But the victim's father says this charge came too long after the accident. Kenith Debord says his family asked the Rock Island County State's Attorney's office for four months when charges would be brought, but the office wouldn't give the family information.

"Just not knowing, that's not acceptable. You have to tell us something. It's our right and I feel our right wasn't done right."

Rock Island County State's Attorney John McGehee says traffic accident investigations take a long time.

"When you're dealing with traffic accident cases, they're a little different too. there's just a lot of investigation that has to be done before you bring a serious charge such as reckless homicide."

McGehee says his office did communicate with the Debord's, but understands their feelings.

"I know it's very frustrating for a family and how long it can take to go through this entire process. We try to do it the best we can and we try to explain where we're at but it does take time."

Kenith Debord says the charges won't bring back his son, but he hopes the Rock Island County State's Attorney's Office will communicate more in the future.

"Call them [victim's families] every other day, maybe at least once a week you need to call them because they're still waiting for that call. Every day they're waiting for that call, and that's driving them nuts."