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Driver charged, second driver sought in fatal hit-and-run

Posted March 12, 2009

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— Police on Thursday charged one driver in a hit-and-run in north Raleigh that killed a pedestrian early Wednesday, and they continued to search for the driver whose car they believe hit the pedestrian first.

At least four vehicles hit Lewis Avery Gray, 71, of Raleigh, Wednesday morning as he tried to cross Falls of Neuse Road near its intersection with Spring Forest Road, police said. There was no crosswalk where Gray was hit, they said.

Carlos Humberto Agustindiaz, who was driving a truck for Apex-based Parker’s Landscape Services, was charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run, police said.

Police initially thought the landscaping truck was responsible for Gray's death, but they later determined a blue Chevrolet SUV hit Gray first. The SUV driver stopped briefly before driving off, police said, and investigators were still searching for him Thursday.

Two other vehicles also hit Gray, but the drivers remained at the scene and weren't charged, police said.

Police said they believe a bicyclist was riding south on Falls of Neuse Road and was near the intersection at the time Gray was initially hit. Investigators said they want to talk to the bicyclist to determine if he or she saw anything.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department’s Field Operations Division at 919-996-3350.


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  • xchief661 Mar 12, 2009

    In my opinion that is a very dangerous intersection. It seems to be a magnet for accidents. Why does the fact that someone just drove off and left this poor man to die not suprise me anymore. Something is really wrong with that.Our thoughts and prayers are with this poor man and his family who loved him. I am so sorry that there are such bad people in this world. God Bless!

  • bronzegoddess40 Mar 12, 2009

    FatherMott, I know a gentleman that is looking for a job and, needs a job and he can do landscaping. Where is your company located? He is an American, born and raised and wants a job.

  • Jeepguy Mar 12, 2009

    You are all missing 1 huge point. As a local landscaper, I would love to have American workers, but they do not want to do the work. We are in the need of workers, but no Americans apply. Americans feel that they are above the work. Also with the high unemployment rate there is no H2B program this year...that is too bad, because we need them. They come back year after year for 5-6 years in a row and are away from their families for 10 months out of the year. Show me an American worker that will do the work and I will hire, but ther are just not there!!!

  • mlavoie Mar 12, 2009

    Lew Gray was a wonderful man, know by many in the North Raleigh COmmunity. I never once heard him say a negative word to anyone or fail to have a smile for all he met. He deserved better

  • chance Mar 12, 2009

    *Freedomrings* I can appreciate your intentions, however, currently 10% of the population of NC is unemployeed. Why would there be a need to 'import' workers on visas and have a good portion of those wages go to Mexico when many US Citizens would jump at the opportunity to work for a landscaping company effectively keeping the money locally and stimulating economic growth? I can easily see how the anomosity grows towards aliens - visa or no visa- and those who employ them. The lack of hiring US Citizens could very well be the undoing of many landscaping companies as those you service need to cut back due to the economic downturn. Maybe it's time some of those landscaping companies did their part by hiring US Citizens.

  • Adelinthe Mar 12, 2009

    I thought they weren't going to charge the landscaper because he hadn't known that he hit anything until he saw the blood on the truck when he got back to the shop.

    But then, if that's totally true, why would it have caused them any concern at all - because if they didn't really know they had hit something, they could've hit a deer which wouldn't worry anyone unless there was damage.

    So ok, I'm starting to get a better picture.

    Praying for the loved ones of the deceased fellow.

    God bless.


  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Mar 12, 2009

    It probably was dark when the first vehicle hit the pedestrian. The time just changed Sunday. If the first vehicle had stopped and called police, there most likely would have been NO charges. Hard to see in the dark and the pedestrian wasn't in a crosswalk. But since they left the scene, they will be heavily prosecuted.

    Here's my guess... The Blue SUV did stop briefly. They did what any decent human being would have done. Then they realize that something about them is illegal. Either they are in this country illegally, out on parole, have illegal contraband in their vehicle, or are driving without insurance or a license. Then they did what they thought they had to do, they left. Just a guess.

  • coolwill Mar 12, 2009

    Every year, nearly 66,000 H-2B visas are issued. Initially, it is granted for 1 year. Extension is possible in one year increments to a maximum of 3 years and each extension requires submitting a new Labor Certification. In order to qualify for H-2B visa, you must have a valid temporary job offer from a U.S. employer to perform non-agricultural work submit the proof of an intent to return to your home country on expiration of the visa. Limitation of H2B Work Visa: H-2B dependents are not permitted to work in the U.S. Requirement of labor certification, a time consuming process. The job must be temporary in nature. Why would North Carolina need to import landscape workers, how long has this individual been in the country, is he or his family receiving any government benefits. This is a job that American will do.

  • areadriver Mar 12, 2009

    I noticed in the pics that there was a "sidewalk closed" sign. It was stated yesterday that the sidewalk was closed where the accident happened. Just because the sidewalk is closed does not mean "walk in street". If the victim was in the travel lane, was he wearing the standard hi-viz with reflective trim that must be worn when in the DOT right of way (the street). Maybe he couldn't be seen, as it it dark at 655a, now that we moved the clocks. It is pothole season, maybe they thought they hit a pothole in the road. That still doesn't explain the guy that got out and looked. Regardless, everyone should have stopped and waited for the police.

  • freedomrings Mar 12, 2009

    I've noticed people starting to make assumptions about the landscaper's residency status.
    Parker's Landscaping uses legal resident workes only. They use an H2B visa program. There are several good landscaping companies in the Triangle who use this program.

    I hope that clears things up for everyone.

    A Local Landscaper