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Veteran's family asks for help finding hit-and-run trucker

Posted November 11, 2015

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— Three weeks after a veteran was killed when a tractor-trailer hit his wheelchair along U.S. Highway 1 in Vance County, his family on Wednesday pleaded for help in finding the driver responsible for his death.

Gordon Hargrove, 58, was heading to a nearby store on Oct. 21 when he was hit along southbound U.S. 1 near East Andrews Avenue, authorities said.

"My initial thought was, of course, this was an accident, and now I'm thinking it's a bit malicious because it's 21 days later," said his sister, Melissa Elliott. "We have no leads. No one has come forward. I think it’s horrible."

Hargrove was the oldest of Evelyn Terry's six children, and the lack of an arrest in the case has left her distraught.

"I am very much in pain. I want them to find who did it to my son," Terry said. "I’ll never forget it, but I’ll probably feel a little better. I don’t want them to get away with it."

The Henderson Police Department and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol have asked trucking companies to provide any information on rigs they had in the area the night Hargrove was killed. Witnesses said they thought the truck had a white trailer and a red cab.

A similar accident in 1978 – he was hit by a truck while walking in Henderson – put Hargrove in the wheelchair and ended his service in the Marines.

"Normally today, we would be celebrating him," Elliott said of Veterans Day, adding that all the family has now to mark the holiday is the flag that draped his coffin at his funeral.

Hargrove was a joy to be around, his sister said.

"I never met a person in my life who was so happy for the small things," she said. "I feel like it's our job as his family to find this person, help assist law enforcement."

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call Henderson police at 252-438-4141 or Henderson Crime Stoppers at 252-492-1925.

"Everyone has good in them. I'm hoping through these interviews (that) the good will come out. This person will say, 'I made a terrible mistake' and bring themselves to justice," Elliott said. "I forgive this person, but even in forgiveness, you need to be accountable."


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