Owners of SUV police say was used in hit and run break silence

EVANS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Though the owners of South Shore Beach Club in Evans have still refused to talk to police about why their SUV was involved in a hit-and-run death, they have broken their silence on Facebook.

Fifty-two-year-old Barry Moss was struck and killed a few nights before Christmas walking along Route 5. Evans Police say a Ford Explorer that struck him is still locked up as evidence and it’s registered to Gabriele Ballowe, who along with her husband Gary, own and operate the South Shore Beach Club in Evans, which has been closed ever since the death.

Police are still trying to prove who was driving the Explorer, so at this time no one has been charged.

And so far, the Ballowes have refused to speak with police and have hired attorney Tom Eoannou to represent them.

“I would say that the owner is not cooperating or didn’t cooperate or maybe had no intentions of cooperating, so we still haven’t gotten any cooperation from the owner,” said Lt. Douglas Czora with the Town of Evans Police.

But a few days ago, on the South Shore Facebook page, friends say Gary wrote, “I would like to express my personal and deepest thanks to those who have sent their thoughts and prayers out to both families affected by the recent tragedy. In my heart there is no comparison for the hurt and loss that the Moss family has had to endure.”

The statement goes on to say, “My personal prayers go out to the family of Barry Moss. I am truly sorry for your loss. None of us can ever imagine things like this happening to our families. When it does, it is overwhelming in every aspect. I hope someday your family is able to heal from their great loss and hope the memories keep him alive. I knew Barry, and will keep him in my thoughts and prayers always. Sincerely, Gary Ballowe”

Only friends of the Facebook page were able to read this statement, so the Moss family was not about to read it first hand. They did not want to comment publicly about the statement.

When we spoke to the victim’s sister, Maria Wrafter, in January, she told News 4, “The police need someone to come forward and we really don’t understand why anyone would defend or not come forward when they know a person would leave someone for dead.”

She added, “Our confidence with the police is definitely there. It’s very difficult to be patient. It’s making my family almost insane. It’s very unsettling. We ask that somebody look to their conscience and come forward.”

Also on Facebook, the Ballowes announced their bar would be having its first event in months: a St. Patrick’s Day party Saturday night. But that post has since been removed.

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