WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Luzerne County man was sentenced Thursday after police say he killed a 7-year-old boy in a hit and run. Robert Ball will serve 19 months to 5 years behind bars, followed by 2 years of special probation.

7-year-old Gabriel Bierly was killed by a hit-and-run driver in March of 2021 while riding his bike.

Police charged Robert Ball in February for the crime. He plead guilty last month. According to state police, he was driving in the 300 block of Bonneville Road in Huntington Township when he struck Gabriel Bierly, who was riding his bike near his home.

Police say the little boy was found about 50 feet from where the crash happened and was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, Robert Ball was sentenced in total to just over 1.5 years to 5 years in prison followed by 2 years of special probation.

Robert Ball

Eyewitness News sat down with Gabriel’s parents to see what their hopes are as they prepare for Ball to be sentenced Thursday afternoon.

“It would be helpful for us as far as healing just to know what happened,” said Adam Bierly.

“Why he made the decisions he made. We understand it was an accident, but we don’t understand why he chose to leave. What in that moment made you make that decision to leave our little boy,” asked Sara Bierly.

They say they may not get the answers they’re hoping for, but any closure is better than none at all.