PITT COUNTY - Highway Patrol is investigating after a man dies in an fiery crash.
Patrick Ham, 20 of Grimesland, was killed on impact, according to troopers.
This happened at the intersection of Boyd Galloway and JC Galloway roads, between Simpson and Grimesland. Crews got the call at 11:12 p.m. on Sunday.
One of the neighbors who wanted to remain anonymous called 911 for help after they heard the crash.
"I was in the house and it just felt like a bomb went off and then I looked outside and across the street there is something on fire. I don't know what it is," the neighbor said.
Troopers said Ham was driving at a high rate of speed when he ran through a stop sign and slammed his Jeep Cherokee into a tree. The jeep exploded.
Jim Galloway lives at the home where the car landed.
"It sounded like gunshots. Very big gunshots. I think it was the tires bursting. I thought it was probably thunder. And then I heard two explosions," he said.
That's when Galloway said he ran outside and took action with his garden hose.
"The grass was burning toward the house so I got my hose and wet that down," he said.
Galloway said he managed to keep the fire at bay until firefighters arrived. It took several hours for crews to get the fire out.
"You could not tell it was a car. When I first got out there the fire department got there and put the fire out and you still couldn't tell what car it was. We found a bumper fifty feet away and it said Jeep and that's when we knew what it was," Galloway said.
Although too emotional to speak about what happened, Galloway said the family came to see the spot where their son tragically lost his life.
Troopers are continuing to investigate but they said high speed and careless and reckless driving are contributing factors in the crash.
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