12-year-old on new meds hit, killed by car on I-77 while sleepwalking, relatives say

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State troopers are investigating what led to a 12-year-old boy being struck and killed by a car as he walked down the middle of Interstate 77 in Iredell County overnight.

Family members told Eyewitness News that the boy suffered from medical issues, which may help explain his actions. Relatives said that the boy was recently put on a new medication which caused him to sleepwalk.

Troopers told WSOC that the child was hit by the car around 4 a.m. while walking in the middle of the interstate, between mile marker 46 and 48.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said that the boy's family had stopped for the night at the Best Western at Exit 49. They live in Kannapolis and had pulled into the hotel because they were getting too sleepy to continue driving, troopers said.

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Officials said surveillance video shows the boy in the parking lot of the hotel, checking car doors before finding one that was left unlocked. He got into the 2004 Honda Civic that troopers said had the keys in the console, and drove out of the parking lot and onto I-77. He pulled onto the shoulder and abandoned the car a short time later, troopers said.

Investigators said the boy was trying to return to the hotel, walking in the center northbound lane of the interstate when he was hit and killed.

Witnesses said several cars swerved to miss him before he was eventually struck.

Troopers said the boy's family realized he was missing when they woke up Sunday morning, and authorities delivered the heartbreaking news; no charges will be filed.

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