MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Grant Burchfield says his father, Gary Burchfield, was a gentle soul. That’s what makes Gary’s death an unexpected tragedy and complete shock.
Gary was killed in a hit-and-run incident just outside his home on Peach Orchard Road.
“My mother called me after about 20 minutes of him being gone and said, ‘Hey, I need you to come look for your father, it’s not like him to be gone that long. He was just going to get the mail and the paper,'” Grant said.
Peach Orchard Road in Maryville has been home to Grant his whole life. He lives just a few doors down from his family’s home. So after the call from his mother, he was at their home within minutes and found his father near the mailbox in a grassy area.
“I found him laying behind the mailbox,” Grant said. “I thought that he had just stumbled and fell. He was unconscious but still breathing.”
The U.S. Air Force veteran was rushed to the hospital and that’s when doctors informed Grant that his father was hit by a car.
“It’s really hard to understand why they wouldn’t stop to help him if they knew that they had hit my father, but at any rate, we’re just trying to find some answers to what happened,” Grant said.
The family is now offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information to help find the person responsible.
“Maybe there’s somebody out there that actually knows what happened and they realize maybe I didn’t hit the mailbox, I actually hit a person,” Grant’s wife, Laura Burchfield said.
The family hopes information about Gary’s death will be brought forward soon, and in the process, bring some peace of mind.
“To help with some of the closure to this, it’s obviously not the way you’d want your father to pass,” Grant said.
Anyone with information about the crash should reach out to Blount County Sheriff’s Traffic Safety Office at 865-273-5155.