COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Columbus community continues to deal with the aftermath of David Pollard's sudden passing.
The Carver High School baseball coach and special education teacher was fatally injured in an automobile accident at the intersections of Buena Vista and Andrews roads on Monday. Police still haven't found the suspect involved in the incident.
In their first statement after the accident, Pollard's family wants the community to remember him as a father figure and mentor for the local kids.
Relatives said they knew to expect his keen sense of humor to brighten their day. They knew early on that David had a larger-than-life personality and plenty of love for everyone.
"If he walked into a room with 30 people, he was going to individually walk up to all 30 and hug them and give them a greeting… he wasn't going to skip one person," said his father Terry Render.
Render said David's outlook and personality shaped his approach to education. Whether on the baseball field or inside the classroom, Coach Pollard wanted students at Carver High School – and all throughout Columbus – to know they can come to him and have him remain a constant presence in their lives.
Carlos Pollard, David's brother, said he used baseball and the classroom as a vehicle to assist students.
"He was a father figure, he provided food for their families," Carlos said.
Pollard's mother, Sandra Render, echoed Carlos' sentiment, saying her son wanted kids to feel like they were cared for and loved.
The family agrees David was trying to reach out to troubled kids, people maybe like the suspect involved in the Carver coach's death. The family says the suspect might be missing a positive influence in his life.
"He's the person that David dedicated his life to helping to changing; to know that there's a better way," Terry said.
The Pollard family said they did not know how meaningful David's work with local youth was until the deadly accident.
They're now convinced his memory will live forever in the hearts of his students and the community.
"David had such an impact on so many young people's lives; that his legacy will continue for perpetuity," Terry said. "It will just go on forever."
Pollard leaves behind a 9-year-old daughter. The family has set up a GoFundMe page set up as a trust fund for her.
The funeral for Coach Pollard will take place Sunday, April 24 at 3 p.m. at Cascade Hills Church on 54th Street in Columbus.