KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WRIC)– Authorities say the driver of a pickup truck who hit a group of people walking in the Outer Banks Monday afternoon — killing a couple and injuring a child — fell asleep at the wheel.
The Kitty Hawk Police Department said in a Facebook post that a group of six people was walking south along the shoulder of North Carolina Highway 12, near Maynard Street around 2:30 p.m., when they were hit from behind.
The post said the person driving the pickup truck was going northbound when they fell asleep at wheel and crossed the center line.
A man and a woman were flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where they later died. A child who was also hit was treated and released from The Outer Banks Hospital, according to police.
Hanover County Public Schools’ spokesperson Chris Whitley told 8News that the woman killed, identified as Holly Nicolette, was a 5th-grade teacher at South Anna Elementary School,
“We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of Holly Nicolette and her husband. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and loved ones for their devastating and unimaginable loss. We are grateful for her dedicated service to Hanover County Public Schools and the positive impact that she had on the lives of her students and colleagues. We will provide extra support to our students and staff as they return to school on Monday and begin dealing with this incredibly sad loss,” said Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Schools.
The principal of South Anna ES sent the following message to families, facility and staff:
I am writing to share heartbreaking news with you. Yesterday evening, I was informed of the sudden passing of one of our 5th-grade teachers, Mrs. Nicolette, and her husband who were involved in a tragic accident while on vacation in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. On behalf of the entire South Anna community, I want to extend our deepest sympathy to their family and loved ones for their unimaginable loss.
Mrs. Nicolette served as a 4th and 5th-grade teacher at South Anna for 13 years. During this time, she touched us all with her wonderful sense of humor, strong work ethic, and dedication. For those of you who knew her, we ask that you remember and celebrate her service to our school, commitment to children, and dedication to the teaching profession. For those of you who did not know Mrs. Nicolette, we ask that you support us with your understanding and patience as we navigate through this heartache.
As we mourn the loss of Mrs. Nicolette, your son or daughter may approach you with questions and experience a sense of loss. I want to assure you that our staff will be ready to meet the needs of our students beginning on Monday morning. Additional school counselors will also be on-site to provide direct assistance to students and staff who may need extra support. Additionally, I encourage you to have a conversation with your child about the loss of one of our teachers before returning to school on Monday. As parents, you know best how to approach discussing this sensitive issue and tragic loss with your child.
Again, on behalf of South Anna Elementary School, I want to extend our sincerest condolences to Holly and her husband’s children, family, and friends in this time of immense loss and sadness. As always, please feel free to contact me or any of our staff members with any specific needs that you or your son or daughter may have during this very difficult time.
Police say charges are pending against the driver.
“The Kitty Hawk Police Department extends sincere condolences to the family involved at this difficult time,” the department wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.