Help a grieving father; Come forward

Someone has to know something.

Those were the words of a grieving father Wednesday afternoon as he tearfully pledged to do all he could to help find the person responsible for striking and killing his 39-year-old son as he walked along Ira B. Tart Road in Sampson County Saturday night.

We hope he’s right, and we hope that person, or persons, will come forward, offering law enforcement the information they need to catch the individual responsible for striking the pedestrian and then fleeing the scene without as much as a phone call to 911.

So far there have been myriad tips but nothing that can be substantiated in the stagnant case, Highway Patrol officials have said.

But like Phillip Graham, we believe there is someone out there who heard the crash or saw the newer model Ford Mustang after it left the scene of the accident and traveled south on Ira B. Tart Road toward N.C. 55.

We implore that person to come forward.

The accident happened around 9:30 p.m. Saturday on Ira B. Tart, about half a mile south of Jada Allen Road and approximately 5 miles east of Dunn.

Some witnesses, the Sampson Independent reported, heard the collision’s impact and others noted they saw a vehicle parked in a field with its headlights on following the incident.

These pieces of information could be just enough to spark someone’s memory out there. Perhaps they saw a car in a field; perhaps they saw the Mustang on another road later on; perhaps they know someone with a newer model car that could have been involved.

Graham is offering a $5,000 reward for information they will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for such a reprehensible act.

Anyone who could strike another human being with a vehicle and then merely flee the scene without getting help, without checking on the individual, without taking responsibility for their actions deserve the strongest punishment possible under the letter of the law.

That punishment cannot happen if the person responsible is not caught. And they cannot be caught unless they do the right thing and come forward or unless someone who has information does the right thing and shares it with law enforcement.

Graham is beside himself with grief, and while knowing who killed his son won’t bring the 39-year-old back, it will help the father find a little peace.

He deserves that peace. If you can help him, if you know anything about the accident or if, by chance, you are the person who struck the young man, we are pleading for the right thing to be done: come forward, help law enforcement solve this case.

Anyone with information can contact Graham directly at 910-817-7125, or the Highway Patrol at 910-592-3141, HP communications at 1-800-334-7411 or dial *HP. The Sampson County Sheriff’s Department can be reached at 910-592-4141.