Suspect in hit-and-run fatality

Ronal Norwood, 61, of Temple is charged in connection with the Belton hit-and-run death of Richard Snyder, 13.

BELTON — After hitting something in the dark, Ronal Norwood reportedly was told by a passenger in his pickup there was a body in the road, but Norwood drove away, later stopped to change his tire and went home, according to an arrest affidavit.

The Temple man reportedly told his passenger to lie about seeing a body in the road, the affidavit said.

Norwood, 61, is charged with the Nov. 18 hit-and-run accident that led to the Nov. 20 death of 13-year-old Richard Snyder of Belton.

Norwood told police he was driving his pickup in Belton and thought he had a blowout because he felt his truck rise up and he heard a loud noise, the affidavit said.

The passenger in the pickup was a juvenile, and the Belton Police Department was able to confirm that Norwood stopped somewhere to fix his tire, city of Belton spokesman Paul Romer said Monday.

Norwood didn’t report his involvement in Snyder’s death until Nov. 19 when he went to the Belton Police Department and made a statement. Norwood’s red 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup was impounded while he was there, Romer said.

Temple Police officers arrested Norwood on Nov. 22 at his home in the 3700 block of Antelope Trail.

Norwood has no record of previous criminal convictions.

The affidavit said the Belton Police investigator was aware that Snyder, who was 12 when the accident happened, was struck by a truck at the location described by Norwood.

Snyder was riding his bicycle with friends near the Belton RV Park north of Loop 121 when he was struck by a pickup. He was taken in critical condition to McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White in Temple, where he died the morning of his 13th birthday.

A treating physician said Snyder died from injuries he sustained in the collision, and an autopsy was ordered by a justice of the peace.

Snyder’s eyes, heart valves, liver and kidneys were donated to five people to help save and improve their lives, Racheal Snyder, his 20-year-old sister, said.

Norwood remained in the Bell County Jail on Monday, charged by the Belton Police Department with an accident involving death, a second-degree felony. Norwood was held in lieu of $500,000 bail set by Bell County Justice of the Peace Ted Duffield.

A bail reduction hearing was scheduled Monday in the Bell County 426th Judicial Court with Judge Fancy Jezek officiating, but the hearing was reset, Brett Pritchard, Norwood’s attorney, said Monday.

If convicted, Norwood could be sentenced to not less than two years but not more than 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, according to the Texas Penal Code.