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Police hope reward will bring information about whose car killed a pedestrian on dark U.S. 70 in Garner

David Gerard Abowd, 62, died May 7, 2018, when he was struck by a car in a hit-and-run crash while he was walking on US 70 in Garner, NC. Police said Monday, May 21, 2018, they are offering a reward.
David Gerard Abowd, 62, died May 7, 2018, when he was struck by a car in a hit-and-run crash while he was walking on US 70 in Garner, NC. Police said Monday, May 21, 2018, they are offering a reward. David Abowd Family

The identity of the driver whose Chrysler 300 hit and killed 62-year-old David Gerard Abowd two weeks ago still eludes police, and they said Monday that they are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to that driver's identity

The car hit Abowd as he was walking on U.S. 70 near Vandora Springs Road early in the morning hours of May 7.

The Chrysler hit Abowd hard enough that it likely has damage to its hood and possibly its windshield as well as to its bumper and probably its grill, Lt. Chris Clayton, head of investigations for Garner police, said Monday.

Clayton appealed to the public to let police know if there is a light-colored Chrysler 300 that they used to see and have not noticed around in the weeks since the crash.

The person who used to drive that car, Clayton said, "That's probably someone we want to follow up with."

At the crash scene, police found a piece of grill that helped them narrow the search to the Chrysler, probably a 2005 to 2010 model, Clayton said.

That grill could have been added equipment, however, and police are not sure if the car might have a less-damaged grill beneath.

The driver gave himself or herself a problem by running away from the scene, Clayton said.

"Had the car stopped, it's a very different investigation for us" because Abowd was in the road when he was hit, not on the shoulder.

He was wearing dark clothing, Clayton said, and could have been difficult to see. Leaving the scene of a fatal wreck is a felony, however, so police will arrest the driver when he or she is found.

The location where the car struck Abowd has an on ramp from Vandora Springs Road joining the two lanes of U.S. 70.

Clayton said Abowd could have been walking on the shoulder of U.S. 70 before he got to that section, then have found himself in the traffic lanes.

Police have no evidence that Abowd was impaired in any way, the lieutenant said.

Abowd lived about 2 miles from where he died, Clayton said, in an apartment complex off Avents Ferry Road.

Police have not, however, been able to establish why Abowd was on the road when the crash happened about 12:30 a.m.

"We don't know why he was there," Clayton said.

Abowd had not been in the Triangle long, his family said in a statement.

"David was new to the area, and we would like to appeal to the public to contact police with any information they may have," one of Abowd's brothers, Peter, said.

The family said music had been a defining factor in Abowd's life.

He was a special education teacher in the Gaston County school system after graduating from Sacred Heart College in Belmont in 1979, the family said.

He later opened a music store in Gastonia, however, and performed with several church groups, the statement said.

He posted music to the website SoundCloud.

Ron Gallagher 919-829-4572 @RPGKT
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