Family of victim in deadly hit-and-run file civil lawsuit against bar owner

EVANS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Though a grand jury did not indict Gabriele Ballowe, the woman police call the only suspect in the hit-and-run death of 52-year-old Barry Moss, the victim’s family is suing the bar owner.

Last week, police came out and for the first time stated that Ballowe is the only suspect in Moss’s death and announced a $11,000 reward for information.

In a statement, Evans Police and Crime Stoppers said, “Investigation shows that after the accident Ms. Ballowe associated with persons who she may have confided in, and/or who may have assisted in plans to get her vehicle repaired. We are asking for those person(s) to come forward with any information, as well as any other witnesses who have not been interviewed yet.”

Moss’s DNA was allegedly found on Ballowe’s vehicle, but a grand jury determined there was not enough evidence to prove who was behind the wheel last December when Moss was fatally struck on Rt. 5 in Angola.

Now Moss’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against Ballowe, who in court papers is accused of being the “owner and operator” of the vehicle that hit Moss and fled the scene. The wrongful death suit has been filed in State Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Moss’s family continues to hope someone will come forward.

“For those who know, and help her, and think they’re doing the right thing by helping somebody who would kill someone or hit someone and drive away and let them die on the side of the road, think again,” Moss’s sister, Maria Wrafter, told News 4. “Think again. You’re not being a good person. You’re helping evil.”

“We really beg and ask for somebody who maybe was on the fence before, maybe who thought we had the case all worked out before, to step forward now. Because we don’t,” Wrafter said.

Police say they are hoping someone comes forward “because it is the right and moral thing to do,” not necessarily for the sake of claiming the reward.

The press release stressed, “Anyone who has information and is afraid of legal ramifications can notify Crime Stoppers, or have their attorney notify Crime Stroppers, to make arrangements to cooperate with the investigation.”

The Crime Stoppers number is 867-6161. Evans Police can be reached at 549-3600.

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