Investigators in Hampton County are still piecing together clues, after a young man was found dead along a rural road. They say it appears to have been a hit and run that killed 19-year-old Stephen Smith on Sandy Run Road near Joe Miley Road, when he was walking outside of his vehicle because he ran out of gas. Friends and family of Smith hope a suspect can be identified.
“I was sitting on my front porch, and I started crying like, what kind of monster could do this to somebody?” said Felicia Walling.
Walling is one of several of Smith’s classmates who are still in shock at what happened.
“Stephen, even though we weren’t blood family, we were still family and his presence, the way he acted, the way he was, he was just Stephen. I loved him so much,” said Betty Ferguson.
“I remember the Friday nights we used to go and hang out at the skating rink with us and all of our best friends,” said Walling.
They tell NEWS 3 they will miss many things about the young man, “probably, the way he would be there if I needed to talk to him,” said Peyton Owens.
“Stephen was a great person, I mean anyone who knew him…you wouldn’t have to come explain him on the news or anything, because he was a great person, he was always energetic, even on his worst days he made everyone else feel special,” said Walling.
Investigators say there’s still no suspect or vehicle description, and are asking for help solving the case. They say Smith likely died instantly. Smith’s friends just hope he didn’t suffer.
“I was so shocked, I was so angry, I didn’t understand. But I guess things happen for better reasons, and at least he’s in a better place,” said Ferguson.
The Highway Patrol is leading the investigation. They ask that anyone with information call 1-888-CRIME-SC.