Highway Patrol: 12-year-old hit and killed walking on I-77

WSIC File Photo

The NC Highway Patrol says a 12-year-old left a Statesville hotel early Sunday before being hit and killed while walking in the northbound travel lanes of I-77.

Sergeant Fortner says video surveillance from Statesville’s Morland Drive Best Western showed the boy searching for unlocked vehicles in the parking lot early Sunday morning. According to the Highway Patrol, he drove off in a 2004 Honda Civic which had the keys left inside. The vehicle was found abandoned at mile marker 46, south of Amity Hill Road between Statesville and Troutman.

No official release of names has been made at this point. The child was a resident of Kannapolis.

It appears the 12-year-old was trying to return to the hotel, with witnesses saying he was walking on the center line of the two northbound travel lanes. According to Fortner, several vehicles were able to swerve and avoid hitting the child before he was struck by a passenger car around 4 a.m.

A room key found near the child’s body helped the Highway Patrol launch its investigation. He had been staying at the hotel with his parents. No charges will be filed in the case.

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