14-year-old killed when hit from behind by SUV

ERWIN, NC (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol has charged a driver after a 14-year-old was hit and killed along Red Hill Church Road at Tobacco Barn Lane just outside Erwin in Harnett County.

Pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed an SUV that appeared to have left the road after the accident and plowed across a property into an out building.

Troopers said 23-year-old Cameron Pipkin of Coats ran off the side of the road around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and hit James Michael McLeod of Dunn who was walking along the shoulder of the road from behind. McLeod was a freshman at Triton High School.

Cameron Pipkin

image courtesy Harnett County Sheriff's Office

"Our school system is saddened by this tragedy as is the staff of Triton High School," Harnett County Public Relations Director Patricia Harmon-Lewis said. "The counselors at Triton and our crisis counseling team will be at Triton tomorrow to meet with students and staff members as needed."

Meanwhile, Pipkin is charged with misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle and careless and reckless driving. He has since been released on a $1,000 bond.

Troopers said they believe he fell asleep at the wheel before he hit McLeod. They said speed was also a factor.

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