Raleigh, N.C. — At least four vehicles hit a man who died in a hit-and-run wreck on Falls of Neuse Road on Wednesday morning, the accident report shows.
The victim was identified as Lewis Avery Gray, 71, of Raleigh, police department spokesman Jim Sughrue said.
Gray was hit around 6:55 a.m. as he attempted to cross the road where there was no marked crosswalk, the report stated. The first vehicle, which is believed to be a blue Chevrolet Blazer or similar sport utility vehicle, struck Gray near the intersection with Spring Forest Road, stopped and then drove off. Three more vehicles went on to hit Gray.
Initially, officers were looking for a white landscaping truck that they said they believed had killed the man. Later, however, after they found that truck, "It has been determined that it was not the first vehicle to strike the victim," Sughrue said.
Representatives with Apex-based Parker’s Landscape Services, Inc. told WRAL News their driver was unaware he had hit anything, but noticed blood on his truck when he arrived at his destination. He alerted the company, who contacted the police.
The blue SUV sought by police should have heavy front-end damage, Sughrue said. The driver was described a white or light-skinned man.
“The vehicle stopped north of the crime scene and the driver was seen. The driver got out of the vehicle…then got back in the vehicle and proceeded in a northbound direction,” Sughrue said.
Investigators asked that anyone who witnessed anything in the accident area and hadn't yet given police a statement call the Raleigh Police Department’s Field Operations Division at 919-996-3350.
Neighbors said Gray lived less than a mile away from where he died. They said he loved walking and did it everyday.
“Even in the rain he would walk up and down the street. Early in the morning sometimes,” neighbor Lynn Hess said.
The accident happened in an area where a sidewalk is being rebuilt, but it was not clear whether that was any factor in the accident.
Officers closed Falls of Neuse northbound during the morning commute while traffic investigators worked at the scene,
The scene Wednesday was near where two boys were killed in traffic when they tried to cross the street 11 months ago.
Kaled, 9, and Basil Shahin, 7, were hit by a sport-utility vehicle April 2, 2008, when they ran ahead of their mother and sister and were hit on Spring Forest Road. The family was headed to a library. Kaled died that day. His brother died on April 3.
The driver who hit the boys had a green light at the intersection, witnesses told police.