Suspected hit-and-run driver thought he hit deer, not bicyclist

The man accused of a fatal hit-and-run in the town of Oregon last week thought he hit a deer while he was driving to work, his attorney said in court Tuesday.

Kevin Meister, 35, faces felony hit-and-run charges in the death of 33-year-old Shelton Berel, who was riding his bike at the time of the crash.

Meister was in court Tuesday, but still hasn’t been officially charged in the incident.

Dane County officials said Meister was driving on Lincoln and Hillcrest in the town of Oregon Friday when he hit a bicyclist with his pickup truck and kept driving. Meister’s truck was found later that day at his job, where he was taken into custody.

“He didn’t do anything to conceal his whereabouts. He didn’t flee the area. I didn’t hear anything about trying to make repairs to vehicles or anything like that. It’s an unusual case in that regard,” court commissioner Jason Hanson said.

According to the prosecutor, witnesses said they didn’t see Meister brake.

Meister admitted to police that he was driving in the area, but that he didn’t think he hit anyone.

Meister is expected to be officially charged later this week.