Loved ones to say goodbye to Charlotte father killed after being hit by several cars

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Loved ones will gather Saturday to pay tribute to a Charlotte father killed on New Year's day.

Charlotte Mecklenburg police said 19-year-old Demetrice Gillespie died after being struck by several vehicles in University City shortly after ringing in the New Year.

"My family is just kind of devastated right now,” Demetrice’s father William Gillespie said. “I can't even put into words right now."

Gillespie was the father to a 6-month-old son.

Saturday's services start with a visitation at 1 p.m. at New Covenant Bibleway Church in northwest Charlotte and a funeral that will start at 2 p.m.

As boys, Demetrice and his twin brother sang for comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres on her show three times.

Their love for music continued at church and on YouTube.

"I just talked to him Monday about the music they were doing," William Gillespie said.

On New Year's Eve, Demetrice celebrated with friends in University City. On New Year's Day, family members reported him missing when they hadn't heard from him.

Authorities charged Christian Chandler, 22, with felony hit-and-run after he turned himself in. Chandler allegedly fled the scene after hitting Demetrice on North Tryon Street at Mallard Creek Road.

Investigators said Chandler was driving a black 2018 Nissan Altima when he hit Gillespie and fled the scene.

(Christian Chandler)

Channel 9 crews were at the scene with emergency responders just after 1 a.m. on New Year's Day.

When officers arrived at the scene they found a Honda CRV, a Hyundai Sonata and the victim.

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Witnesses told Channel 9 that several cars ran over the victim and that the body was dragged into a gas station parking lot.

Police said the drivers of both vehicles remained at the scene and were not injured.

Detectives told Channel 9 that the victim was walking on North Tryon Street or on the shoulder when he was struck by the Nissan. He was thrown roughly 50 feet into the right lane where he was then hit by the Honda and tossed another 60 feet.

After being hit by the second vehicle, police said the victim was then run over by the Hyundai, which dragged the man 1,000 feet before the driver pulled into a gas station parking lot with the victim still underneath the car.

The drivers of the Honda and Hyundai were not speeding or drinking, according to investigators. Police said the man who was killed was wearing dark clothing and was not using the sidewalk when he was hit.

Drivers who know the area or live nearby described the stretch of road as one that's busy with traffic, including pedestrians.

"Please just keep our family in your prayers as we try to move forward," William Gillespie said.

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