• 70°

Family, friends mourn former Grease Monkey owner killed on bike

Former Grease Monkey co-owner Kyle Eller was struck and killed while the 53-year-old was riding a bike Monday in Iredell County.
Eller of Statesville was riding at 5:22 p.m. on a route he’s taken often on Barry Oak Road between Mocksville Highway and the Rowan County line when he was struck by a large Ford pickup. N.C. Trooper Sgt. Zeb Stroup said the person who hit Eller did not stop.
The Statesville Record and Landmark reported late Tuesday that an arrest had been made in the case.
The N.C. Highway Patrol arrested Robert Kyle Harkey of Barnhill Road around 9 p.m. and charged him with felony hit-and-run causing serious injury or death. His bond was set at $75,000.
Stroup said officials had been looking for a Ford F-250 or F-350 that is between a 2011 and 2014 model.
Witnesses stayed at the scene and rendered first aid to Eller but were unsuccessful in their attempts to save him. He died at the scene.
Before the arrest, Eller’s brother, Charles, who co-owned the Salisbury Grease Monkey franchise on West Innes Street, made an appeal to anyone who saw something to come forward.
“Turn yourself in,” he said earlier of the driver of the pickup, “if you know them, come forward.”
Kyle Eller leaves behind a wife, Kristi, and two adult children: Cliff, 24, and Elizabeth, 21.
The brothers, who were very close, opened the automotive repair shop fresh out of college in June 1988. They bought the franchise in November 1987, Charles said.
A couple of years ago the two sold the franchise to the husband and wife team of David and Sheila Newell.
“He was not only a great brother and friend, but a very dedicated and loyal business partner. He always did his best and put the people of Salisbury first. He loved Salisbury and the Salisbury community,” Eller said.
Kyle was in semi-retirement, but the two remained business partners. Kyle and Charles were working as consultants/affiliate marketers for Vemma Corp.
Kyle and Charles were avid cycling, running and exercise enthusiasts.
Charles said his brother had a good heart and was a “good, dedicated, Christian man.”
“We did everything together,” Charles said.
In fact, according to longtime friend Phil Rodgers, Charles would’ve been with Kyle biking if he’d not been injured in a bicycle accident about a month ago.
He said his friend died doing what he loved. Rodgers worked as manager for Grease Monkey under the brothers, left the company and returned under the new owners. He’s tried to be there for the family during this difficult time, he said.
Rodgers said Kyle was like a brother to him and he’s disheartened to know someone would hit his friend and then leave him there.
“I can’t understand how someone would hit someone and keep going. He was a wonderful person,” he said.
Rodgers said Eller’s wife, Kristi, is doing pretty well. He said the family members are relying on their faith to get them through. Kristi and Kyle attend West Avenue Baptist Church, he said.
“He knew the Lord and she knows where he’s at,” Rodgers said.
The Ellers have another brother, Bill, who lives in the Greensboro area.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Exhibit about Jim Crow-era travel on display at NC Transportation Museum

Elections

GOP elections board members resign over absentee settlement

Crime

Drive-by shooting injures 24-year-old Salisbury man

Crime

Highway Patrol: Vehicle fled after striking, killing pedestrian on Camp Road

Local

Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Business

Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events

Nation/World

Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

Education

Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event

Education

Shoutouts

Elections

Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race

Business

Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign

Education

School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation

Education

Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children

Education

Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester

Nation/World

NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash

Nation/World

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 positives reported at Piedmont Correctional

Crime

Blotter: Police respond to shots fired call outside of Salisbury home

Coronavirus

Rowan tied for fifth among counties for most COVID-19 deaths

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown