Man charged in fatal 2017 pedestrian crash pleads not guilty

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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) "We hope to be a strong presence throughout the entire case so that maximum justice is served for our brother," Susan Elder said.

Susan Elder and other family members and friends wore pins and shirts remembering their loved one in court in Barre Thursday morning.

Police say last year, David Gilbo, 34, hit David Elder, 55, of Ryegate, after getting gas at the P&H Truckstop in Wells River. David Elder was doing maintenance work on underground storage tanks when he was run over. Police say Gilbo made a hard left turn after exiting the gas pumps and then accelerated. Authorities believe there is enough evidence to show Gilbo should have seen Elder working.

"Witnesses who were interviewed had indicated that they had seen orange cones and white buckets around the area," Assistant Vt. Attorney General Paul Barkus said.

Barkus says his office, along with police, conducted an almost yearlong investigation into the incident.

"Which encompassed interviewing quite a few people, the decision was not difficult," Barkus said.

According to court paperwork, Gilbo was extremely emotional after the incident. He is charged with gross negligent operation with death resulting, a felony that could result in up to 15 years in jail, compared to careless and negligent operation with death resulting which is just two years. Barkus wouldn't comment on whether Gilbo's extensive criminal record in New York had any bearing on the charge.

"Don't think that I'm prepared to share that, being an active case," Barkus said.

Elder's family says David was a hardworking, ninth-generation Vermonter. He was described as an artist and athlete with many friends.

"We miss our brother very greatly," Susan Elder said.

WCAX News wasn't able to speak with Gilbo Thursday. He hopes to have a lawyer for his next court appearance in October. Gilbo pleaded not guilty to the charges.