Neighbor speaks after elderly man and dog killed in auto-pedestrian crash

Posted at 9:54 PM, Aug 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-06 23:54:10-04

ST. GEORGE, UTAH – Neighbors of an elderly man killed Wednesday in an auto pedestrian accident say he was father and grandfather of their cul-de-sac.

A driver police said was blinded by the sun hit 86-year-old Gerald Gilsdorf as he crossed Sunset Boulevard just before 7:15 a.m. Gilsdorf’s dog, Max, died instantly; Gilsdorf was transported to the hospital and later died.

“As it unfolded, it was really upsetting,” said Gilsdorf’s neighbor, Karen March.

March said Gilsdorf often took Max on walks, and the fact they won’t be coming back is shocking.

“Everybody he saw, he talked to,” March said. “He was really a friend, and a neighbor.”

Gilsdorf’s home is only a couple blocks from where the accident happened. St George Police Sergeant Sam Despain said they might never know why Gilsdorf decided to cross the street where he did. Investigators are reviewing the details to see if criminal charges should be filed.

“We know that this driver didn’t intentionally do this,” Despain said. “It is a tragic accident.”

March said Gilsdorf had a brother who lived locally, but no children of his own. She said Max was his family, and in a way is glad they passed together.

“It would have been so heartbreaking for them to be without one another,” March said. “But we’re really going to miss him.”