A 1992 Honda Civic ran off of North Tryon Street near Caprington Avenue at high speed and struck a utility pole early Sunday morning, according to police.
Police said the vehicle was sheared in two.
"I was scared. I was like, 'What's going on?'" said witness Da'Les Allen.
A passenger, 17-year-old Tristan Robert Nichols, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center -- Main with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead at 4:20 a.m.
The driver of the vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Passengers 17-year-old Christopher Camarena and 17-year-old Fabiola Perez were also taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Main with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Major Crash Investigation Unit of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department investigated the crash.
"It had to be about 16 police cars in this area right here," said witness Brandon Pitts.
Police said speed and alcohol were contributing factors in this crash.
The driver, a 15-year-old boy whose name wasn't released, was charged with driving while impaired and driving after consuming under 21 years of age. He was also charged with felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving and driving without a license.
He was taken to a juvenile detention facility.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call crime stoppers at 704-334-1600 or Detective R.C. Gormican with the Major Crash Investigation Unit at 704-432-2169.