Local News

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

Posted June 13, 2011 5:36 p.m. EDT
Updated June 13, 2011 7:07 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.”