Police said a vehicle collided with a pedestrian along Raeford Road near 71st School Road after 5 a.m. The pedestrian, later identified as 24-year-old Phelan A. Osborn, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Phelan was hit by a car, and he's gone," Anne Davis, Phelan's mother, told ABC11.
| Traffic Fatality/Road Closure |— Fayetteville Police (@FayettevillePD) January 2, 2020
East bound Raeford Rd is closed at 71st School Rd due to a traffic accident involving a pedestrian. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased on the scene. Please avoid the area and use an alternate route as #FayPD's traffic unit investigates. pic.twitter.com/XR2pxvL4yc
A room full of loved ones gathered in mourning and shock, trying to cope with the numbing reality.
"I don't believe it's true," said the victim's grandmother, Rose Osborn. "I'm going to wake up, I'm dreaming that somehow or another that I'll wake up and everything will be OK."
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Phelan leaves behind a girlfriend, a 1-year-old son, and broken hearts.
"He's gone. We can't get him back," Davis said. "All we have are memories, whether they're fond or not, it's all we have left of him."
The family said Phelan adored his longtime girlfriend and constantly showered his young son with love.
The couple had plans to move into a new home.
BREAKING: a pedestrian is dead after colliding with a car in Fayetteville. Here’s road closures: pic.twitter.com/Vw1L66nJUY— Julie Wilson (@JulieABC11) January 2, 2020
"We've been stuck in this neighborhood forever, and he was finally just about to move out," said Ayrez Young, Phelan's younger brother. "He would've gotten the news today if he wasn't dead."
Memories remain, captured in cellphone video and in their minds.
Phelan's grief-stricken grandfather, Donald Osborn, was at a loss for words, saying he couldn't even describe how much he'd miss his grandson.
The family said the world is missing a smart, loving human being who still had the rest of his life ahead of him.
"No matter what we went through: me and him, my mom and him, his brother and him, my dad and him, didn't diminish the love we had for him," Davis said.
Family members told ABC11 that they are still working on funeral arrangements.
Fayetteville Police said the cause of the crash and the events leading up to it remain under investigation.