WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A hit and run driver who went through an intersection and struck a stopped motorcycle, causing it to burst into flames and cause severe burns to the cyclist, pleads guilty.

Underwood

James Zachary Underwood pleaded guilty Thursday, November 17, 2022 in 89th District Court. His plea deal was for 10 years deferred probation.

On April 12, 2021, police say Billy Harris was stopped on his 1976 Honda motorcycle at a stop sign at Central Freeway and Maurine.

Underwood was traveling west on Maurine in a pickup and witnesses said he was going too fast to stop and hit Harris’ motorcycle head-on. The motorcycle burst into flames and witnesses said Harris flew off the bike and took off running because he was on fire. He suffered 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his leg, both arms, neck and ear.

Witnesses who stopped to help Harris said the truck driver did not stop to assist the victim but kept going. Police later found the truck in a driveway on Northwest Drive and a man there said Underwood had left it there because it was undriveable.

He said Underwood told him he had struck a motorcycle but the driver was fine and told him he could leave. He then called his mother to come pick him up. Police arrested him at his home.