Friends mourning man struck, killed by car on his birthday

by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:

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CLOVER —

Residents in the town of Clover are mourning the death of a man who was struck and killed by a car on his birthday.

Investigators said Rick Ryan, 55, was crossing Highway 321, north of Ridge Road when he stepped into the path of a car traveling south on the road.

"I heard the crash from inside my house," said Johnny Ridley, who said he's known Ryan for the past seven years.  "I walked outside and couldn't believe it was Rick lying on the pavement."

Ridley said Ryan was walking home from a local bar where he and others were celebrating his birthday.

The bar is across the street from Ridley's store, Johnny Discount Fireworks. Ridley said Ryan often helped out at the store and lived in a house just behind his business for the past several years.

"He was the best natured, most kind person I've ever met" said Ridley.  "He was always friendly and smiled all the time.”

Ridley said Ryan is from Wisconsin and that's where most of his family lives.

Investigators said the driver, a 35-year-old woman from Gastonia, stopped her car after the accident and is cooperating with troopers.  

Troopers said she will not be cited for the accident.