CLAREMONT, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A convenience store clerk is facing charges for selling alcohol to an intoxicated man later killed in a hit-and-run.

The crash happened on U.S. 70 in Claremont near Penny Road around 10:40 pm on April 13th.

“I mean, it just broke everybody’s heart here in town when this happened,” said Hardee’s employee Paula Kiziah.

A memorial marks the spot Raymond Lee Gentry was hit and killed by a driver last month.

While those that knew the 63-year-old grieved the loss of a friend and long-time customer, investigators were busy retracing his steps.

“He was in here every morning and got breakfast,” Kiziah said. “He would go sit in the corner over there and eat like he always did and never bothered a soul.”

Based on evidence at the scene, officers believed Gentry was intoxicated at the time of his death.

Whenever alcohol is involved in an injury or death, Alcohol Law Enforcement or ALE is contacted. After their investigation, ALE said Gentry visited the Market Basket convenience store thrice within 12 hours. Investigators say he purchased three 12-packs of beer on three separate occasions.

ALE determined Market Basket sold malt beverages to the victim, who was intoxicated at the time. The clerk, Dorothy Ann Sparks, 47, of Claremont, was cited for selling alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person.  

ALE has notified the ABC Commission about the charges. The Commission could choose to fine the store or revoke its ABC permits.

Queen City News contacted the location’s owner for comment and did not hear back.

As for the driver in the hit-and-run, State Highway Patrol has made an arrest. Law enforcement says James Scott of Hickory turned himself in. He is facing a felony hit and run and received a $50,000 bond.

Now, a community who knew Gentry as a kind man who always walked around town will remember him as they pass his roadside memorial.

“I still look for him when I come to work regardless of what time of day it is because it was something I saw every single day that I come to work, was him walking,” Kiziah said.