Local News

Son wants answers in father's hit-and-run death

Posted June 13, 2011

— The North Carolina Highway Patrol is trying to figure out who hit a 66-year-old man on U.S. Highway 401 in Franklin County the night of May 30 and drove away, leaving him to die.

Brian Jones said his father, Rick Jones, was driving his van to church, but he ended up stuck in a ditch on U.S. Highway 401 in Franklin County, just south of the Warren County line. Brian Jones said his father may have become disoriented and run off the road.

Troopers found Rick Jones outside his van. They believe someone hit him then left the scene.

Brian Jones said he called his father's cell phone the night he went missing and a stranger answered.

"He said, 'I'm trying to get him unstuck out of the ditch,'" Jones said.

When he asked to speak with his father, the man said he couldn't talk.

Jones was never able to retrieve his father's phone, and the crew that towed the van said the battery was cut from it.
Now, Jones just wants answers.

"Someone out there knows. Someone hit him, and they've got to live with that for the rest of their life," he said.

rick jones van Son seeks answers after hit-and-run

Jones said his dad had a prosthetic leg and could not have walked far away from the vehicle without his crutches, which were found inside the van.

Troopers said no one has been able to give any description of the vehicle involved.

Jones described his father as a giving man who volunteered at a Henderson homeless shelter and was active with Gillburg Methodist Church in Vance County.

“Every Wednesday, he would make a banana pudding,” Brian Jones said. “It didn’t matter if it was his last dollar.”


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  • medeanna32 Jun 16, 2011

    I am a member of Gillburg UMC. Rick was the most kind man I have had the pleasure knowing. His love for his Family and God were what motivated him daily. He will be missed by all who knew him. I pray that his family can find the peace they need.

  • poohperson2000 Jun 13, 2011

    Has to be turned on to track it...

  • Rebelyell55 Jun 13, 2011

    This person will never come forward. Don't most cell phone have GPS features, couldn't they at lease locate the phone? Maybe I've been watching too much NCIS. Hate it for the father and the young man, just sad.

  • Just the facts mam Jun 13, 2011

    Thanks to WRAL for their publicizing this article - hopefully the person(s) will be caught. Very sad story...

  • MudLife Jun 13, 2011

    How could someone do something like this? If the person has a conscience they will come forward. Hopefully they'll watch the movie Devil a guy hit a woman and a kid and left them for dead in that movie and it came back to him. My prayers are with you and you're family and i hope you find the person(s) that did this.

  • iwannaseethereceipts Jun 13, 2011

    That is awful. I hope the person comes forward.

  • Vietnam Vet Jun 13, 2011

    From what I'm getting from this article, this is not just a simple hit and run...this is a robbery and theft in addition to a hit and run/murder. Whoever did this is the lowest of the low!! Killed this man for a car battery and his cellphone??