Cyclist Fatality on US 321 in Lenoir

Christopher Murillo

LENOIR, NC (December 11, 2023) ⇒ On December 10, 2023, at approximately 2:22 AM, officers from the City of Lenoir Police Department were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash involving a bicyclist. The crash occurred within the 1700 block of Hickory Boulevard in the northbound lanes, just north of Ideal Drive. The initial investigation into the crash indicates the bicyclist, Nathan Smith and a silver 2021 Hyundai Tucson driven by Christopher Murillo, were both traveling in the same direction northwest on Hickory Boulevard in the outside travel lane prior to the vehicle colliding with the bicyclist from the rear.

As a result of the crash, Smith succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. During the investigation, officers developed suspicion that Murillo was impaired on alcohol that resulted in Field Sobriety Tests being administered. As a result of those tests and the facts surrounding the crash, Murillo was placed under arrest at the scene without incident and charged with the above listed charges. Murillo’s first appearance in the Caldwell County District Court was December 11, 2023.

The City of Lenoir Police Department is continuing its investigation into this incident. Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime(s), is encouraged to contact the City of Lenoir Police Department at 828-757-2100 or Lenoir/Caldwell County Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 828-758-8300.