CRAVEN COUNTY - The driver of an SUV that hit and killed a teen in Craven County Thursday night told NewsChannel 12 it was a mistake she'll never forget.
"It just broke my heart. I was so upset because I wouldn't want to hurt anyone," said the driver, who did not want to be identified.
Investigators said that driver's SUV hit 19-year-old William Rivera as the he was pushing a dirt bike along Honolulu Road, between Vanceboro and Grifton, at about 7 p.m. Thursday.
Rivera later died from his injuries, officials said.
Investigators said Rivera was wearing dark cloths and didn't have reflective gear. As a result, the driver who hit him will not be charged.
The driver said she had just left her church on Honolulu Road when the accident happened.
"I was coming back to the house when about half way between the church and my home, something just appeared in my windshield, and I knew I had hit something," she said.
The driver said she then got out of her vehicle, but didn't see anything initially. She said a man also stopped right when the accident happened, and they both discovered Rivera's body.
"We looked over across the road and this young man, my neighbor, was lying across the road," the driver said.
The driver said she has lived on Honolulu Road for more 50 years, and has driven down the road many times.
NewsChannel 12 also spoke with Rivera's uncle off-camera. He said his nephew was a loving, respectful young man with a lot of potential. The uncle said the family is gathering together to get through this time.
Meanwhile, the driver who hit Rivera said she is praying for the victim's family.
"I need healing and I know that's got to come from God. And I hope that he will touch the lives of the Riveras too and the loss of their loved one," the driver said.
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