Bond set at $20k for Summerville man charged in 'car surfing' death

VIDEO: Bond set at $20k for Summerville man charged in 'car surfing' death
Gerhard in bond court on Friday (Source: Live 5 News)
Gerhard in bond court on Friday (Source: Live 5 News)

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A judge set bond at $20,000 for a 30-year-old Summerville man who's been charged in the death of a 24-year-old man who fell from a moving vehicle as he was reportedly car surfing in Sangaree.

Kristopher Charles Gerhard was in bond court on Friday facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Daniel Montalvo.

Detectives in Berkeley County say Gerhard was driving a car as Montalvo was atop it, and after Montalvo fell, Gerhard fled the scene and did not tell law enforcement about the incident. A detective representing Montalvo's family testified at Friday's hearing stating the family is "totally devastated." According to the detective, Montalvo's family were also shocked that Gerhard would leave Montalvo, his best friend, "laying in some yard."

Gerhard's attorney says his client's family and wife were in attendance at the hearing for support and cited the fact that Gerhard had no prior record.

On Friday afternoon, BCSO officials reported that Gerhard was not cooperating with investigators on the case. Montalvo was found early Monday morning in the driveway of a home on Heather Court and transported to a local hospital with severe head and body trauma. During their investigation, detectives determined that the victim had fallen from his vehicle that was being driven by Gerhard. An affidavit states Montalvo was on the hood of the vehicle. BCSO officials say apparently Montalvo was doing what is referred to as "car surfing", where someone lays on either the hood or top of a moving vehicle.

Court records say at some point, Montalvo "was then ejected or fell from the vehicle, striking the back of his head on the pavement or an unknown object causing severe brain damage."

Authorities say after the victim fell from the moving vehicle, Gerhard fled the scene and did not report the incident to authorities.

Montalvo died as a result of his injuries two days later on Wednesday.

The Berkeley County Coroner's Office says the results of the autopsy performed on Montalvo show the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities say the death has been ruled an accident.

Chief Deputy Ric Ollic said Montalvo was the best man in Gerhard's wedding, and both were roommates.

Gerhard is expected to make his next court appearance on March 27.

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