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Sister of Elmira man killed in hit-and-run speaks out

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  • Staff Report 

On Friday, November 11, 44-year-old Jon Gearhart was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Elmira Heights.

On Friday evening Gearhart was driving on State Route 14 before pulling over to remove a deer carcass from the road. It was around 5 p.m. that he was struck by a vehicle while moving the deer. The driver that hit him did not stop. Life saving measures were given at the scene but Gearhart was later pronounced dead.

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Police say they have since located the vehicle and driver they believe killed Gearhart. The investigation is ongoing and the Chemung County District Attorney is being consulted on whether or not to press charges.

WENY News spoke with Gearhart’s sister, Carrie Conte. She stated that she originally learned about her brother’s passing through social media and described him as kind and caring with a big heart. She explained that Gearhart saw the deer in the middle of the left lane and pulled over to move it so nobody else would hit it or get hurt.

When discussing the incident, Conte said she did not want to hold onto the anger for the rest of her life. She shared that she was angry the driver made a bad decision to leave the scene after hitting her brother, but she could not pass judgment on it. She also added that she had received many negative comments on how her brother died. After describing how her brother was a positive person, she said she did not want him to be described as just “roadkill.”