The last night of their Myrtle Beach vacation was supposed to be memorable for Jeffery Harris and Da’juan Carlisle. But the night turned into a tragedy for the family.
As the two crossed North Kings Highway to Taco Bell, Carlisle heard a loud bang. At first he thought it was a gunshot.
“When I turned around his sandals were in the air,” Carlisle said about Harris, figuring he kicked off the shoes. Carlisle quickly saw Harris was hit by a car. He ran to his cousin’s side, side but Harris already passed.
Harris, 20, died after being struck by a car on July 27 at about 12:30 a.m. According to a Myrtle Beach police report, Homer Smith, 85, drove the car that hit Harris. The report states that Harris was not crossing in a crosswalk. Witnesses said Smith appeared to be in control of the vehicle and driving under the speed limit.
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Smith was not charged in the wreck.
Harris was a foot from the curb when struck, Carlisle said and the driver stopped immediately.
“He literally asked ‘what happened?’” Carlisle said. “My cousin is literally laying dead next to his car.”
Harris loved music and playing video games on his PlayStation. Carlisle and Harris were cousins, but Harris usually added, “cousins through blood, but brothers through love,”
Carlisle recalled, “We were like one and two, Thing 1 and Thing 2.”
The two were in Myrtle Beach with others and stayed for a couple of extra days. Carlisle said Harris kept talking about how he didn’t want to go to bed early or leave as he knew he had to find a job when he returned home to the Cleveland area.
The two smoked marijuana earlier in the day, but Carlisle said they were sober when they went to Taco Bell.
It took a few days for the gravity of the situation to hit, Carlisle said. It was then he realized there would be no more phone calls or texts between the two.
“I don’t think I ever cried that hard,” he said. He added, “I feel alone, I know he’s here. I feel him a little bit.”