Family shares legacy of late Carver coach one year after tragic accident

The Render's plant a cross in the ground near the intersection where their son was killed in a hit-and-run accident April 18, 2016.
The Render's plant a cross in the ground near the intersection where their son was killed in a hit-and-run accident April 18, 2016.

COLUMBUS, Ga. – One Columbus family is focusing on continuing the legacy of a late Carver High baseball coach one year after his tragic death.

Coach David Pollard was killed in a hit-and-run crash at the Buena Vista Rd. spiderweb. A local artist’s take on David Pollard and his daughter Joy captures a father’s love. Pollard’s parents want to extend that love to everyone impacted by Coach. It’s a love that keeps the family focused on their quest to help themselves and others heal.

The Render's plant a cross in the ground near the intersection where their son was killed in a hit-and-run accident April 18, 2016.
The Render’s plant a cross in the ground near the intersection where their son was killed in a hit-and-run accident April 18, 2016.

“The instant I saw the car, I knew there was no hope,” Terry Render recalled when asked about the hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of his son April 18, 2016.

“I can never be happy again,” Pollard’s mother Sandra Render said.

The healing process will take much longer than a year for the family of the late Carver coach.

“Our life will never be the same again,” Terry said. “We realize that. We’re trying to get used to our new normal, if that’s what you call it, life without David.”

Police were chasing a car theft suspect that day. As the suspect allegedly raced through the intersection at the Buena Vista Rd. spiderweb, he collided with Pollard, who died in the crash. Pollard’s parents say his ten-year-old daughter Joy (nine at the time of the accident) is trying to cope with losing her father.

“Not having a father is a tremendous lot, especially when they were so close,” Terry explained. “They were so close. She loved her daddy.”

Pollard’s parents say their son touched hundreds of lives in Columbus not only as a coach, but also as a special education teacher.

“You have teachers and then you have people that are called to teach,” Sandra said. “And that was a calling for him.”

Pollard’s father described his son as a “person who just fed positive energy into the classroom, the  baseball field, and to our family and the community.”

The Render’s will move forward with plans to start the David Pollard Foundation in an effort to carry on their son’s legacy. It involves community service projects, mentoring opportunities, and scholarship offerings. Pollard’s family hopes to extend the love coach showed to his students, athletes and others in the community. Tuesday afternoon, exactly one year after the tragic crash, the Render’s planted a white cross into the ground near the site where Pollard was killed. They hope to raise awareness about who their son was and how much he cared for the community.

Though Columbus Police arrested 19-year-old William Cross in connection with the hit-and-run case, the Render’s say closure is still out of reach.

“But it’s never going to change the results,” Sandra said.

“We’re not looking for closure, Terry stated. “We’re looking for justice.”

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