University City

Dead Union man’s friends wonder: Why?

MONROE -- Family and friends say they want justice for their loved one, 22-year-old Josh Crowley, who died while walking along Potter Road in western Union County on April 7.

Though the N.C. Highway Patrol believes it knows who hit him, no charges have been filed.

“We just want answers.  We want everyone to be aware that we're hurting,” said friend Kaitlyn Pearce.

Meanwhile, friends and family members have organized a fund raising event Saturday, to start a foundation in Crowley’s memory.

Crowley’s friends say they're trying to mourn his death but can't move on without knowing when someone will be held responsible for the death.

"Everybody is still in shock,” said another friend, Pam Weidner. “I think they're still trying to come to terms with what's gone on, and everybody is looking for answers."

The day after the accident, the owner of a Lexus RX- 50 SUV came forward, called police and reported a female family member was driving his car that night. Last week that woman, who is not being identified by Highway Patrol, was expected to be interviewed, but troopers say the woman has hired an attorney, and they haven't been able to question her.

The Highway Patrol told the Observer that investigators are still collecting evidence and reports. They could submit the case to the Union County District Attorney before the end of the week. The DA would make the ultimate decision on whether charges will be filed.

Though they still don't know what led up to the incident that caused their friend’s death, friends and family members say they know the memorial they’ve created where he died is where they can still come to remember him.

"That's the hardest part is coming by here and leaving a note or a rose or whatever and just not knowing what happened and what's going to happen," Weidner said.

NewsChannel 36 spoke with Crowley's grandmother by phone, and she said authorities have told her the investigation is in-depth and still ongoing but could take months. That is not comforting to her, she said.

Pearce said, "It seems like this is going on for forever, and it's not fair to the grandparents."

And, they add, it’s not fair to Josh, who was left to die on the side of Potter Road while the driver kept going.

"We want to know why,” Pearce said. “There was a young man that was killed that was very dear to a lot of people, (and) nothing's been done about it.”

Family and friends will hold a rally Saturday for the Crowley's Final Walk foundation. It's at the Belk Tonawanda Park in Monroe from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  T-shirts will be sold, along with other items, with all proceeds going to the family.