BELMONT, N.C. - Friday a young man lost his life after apparently falling asleep at the wheel, according to state troopers.
They responded to the scene on South Point Road in Belmont.
Passengers in the car were rushed to hospitals.
The driver died after striking a large sign.
Troopers say they don't think alcohol or speed factored into the fatal crash.
"I heard a big boom," said David Alexander, who lives nearby.
"And I heard the fire trucks and the ambulance going by," said Riley Harris, who also lives nearby.
"He fell asleep at the wheel. You don't hear that every day," Alexander said shaking his head.
Four passengers survived and were rushed to nearby hospitals, but the driver, 19-year-old Patrick Boyd, didn't make it.
"It's sad," Boyd's neighbor Edward Wise said. "A lot of people are going out, getting gifts for the holidays and just somebody simply falling asleep, and to be local here too. It's hard to hear."
The group had been holiday shopping before the crash, according to investigators. Now Boyd's family will have Christmas without their son.
"I couldn't imagine especially because I have children that age too," Wise said. "And to have that happen at such an early age and leave the family and everybody else behind, I couldn't grasp that."
The four other people in the car, all 18, 19, or 20, are recovering at Gaston Memorial and Carolinas Medical Center Main.
"I hope the good Lord takes care everything, and they be all right," Harris said.
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