ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) – A 17-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run accident Saturday evening on Wire Grass Road, about a mile east of Lumberton, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. The suspected driver, a correctional officer, was identified Tuesday, and resigned after turning himself in on Wednesday.
Austen Stevey-Ray Collins was walking in the eastbound lane at about 7:14 p.m. when he was struck and killed by a vehicle driving east, said Sgt. Daniel Hillburn with NCHP. The car then fled the scene.
Collins' mother said she was on the phone with him when the car hit him in front of his own home.
"I began to say, 'Austen! Did you hear me Austen?' I didn't hear anything," described Melanie Collins. "It was just like a little bird said, that's your son. Your son was just hit."
The suspected driver of the vehicle was identified on Tuesday, February 9 as 45-year-old Michael Lenell Dortch, of Lumberton, according to the NCHP. Dortch, a correctional officer at the Tabor Correctional Institution in Tabor City, voluntarily turned himself in to investigators on Wednesday. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety confirmed that Dortch resigned from his position on Wednesday. A 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor has been seized.
Highway Patrol secured some residential security camera footage showing an image of the vehicle, Sgt. Hillburn said.
"I'm angry, I want to know why, I want to know what, you know? said Collins. "They left my son there and he died like nothing, he was nothing."
The car and the victim were both going outbound from Lumberton toward Orrum, according to Collins.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Collins' funeral, you can find it here: https://www.gofundme.com/dknkjbvx