Kristopher Charles Gerhard stood before a judge in bond court on Friday facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection to his best friend’s death. The judge set 30-year-old Gerhard’s bond at $20,000.
Two days prior, on Wednesday, 24-year-old Daniel Montalvo died as a result of car surfing in Sangaree. “Car surfing” is when someone rides either on the hood or on the top of a moving vehicle.
Berkley County Sheriff’s deputies determined that Gerhard was driving Montalvo’s car as Montalvo was car surfing. Montalvo fell off the top of the moving vehicle, and according to police reports (via Live 5 News), Gerhard left the scene and never reported it.
Montalvo was found early Monday morning lying in someone’s driveway on Heather Drive in Sangaree. He was rushed to Medical University Hospital in critical condition after suffering severe head and body trauma. The court documents revealed that once Montalvo fell from the top of the moving vehicle, he struck the “back of his head on the pavement or an unknown object causing severe brain damage.”
Two days later, Montalvo died while in the intensive care unit.
Live 5 News reported Friday afternoon that Berkeley County Sheriff Office officials revealed that “Gerhard was not cooperating with investigators on the case.”
At Gerhard’s bond hearing in court on Friday, a detective representing Montalvo’s family testified on their behalf. Live 5 News revealed that the detective told the judge Montalvo’s family is “totally devastated.” He went on to say how the family was “shocked that Gerhard would leave Montalvo, his best friend, laying in some yard.”
It’s not hard to believe that Montalvo’s family must wonder if Gerhard had reported the incident when it happened and Montalvo had gotten medical attention immediately if his fate would have been the same. An autopsy performed by the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office says Montalvo’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Gerhard’s attorney was quick to inform the court that Gerhard has no prior record. Authorities say the death has been ruled as an accident.
While Gerhard’s bond was set for $20,000, his next court appearance is scheduled for March 27.
Chief Deputy Ric Ollic informed Live 5 News that “Montalvo was the best man in Gerhard’s wedding, and both were roommates.”
[Photo Credit: Live 5 News]