A woman was struck by a commercial van and died in the Rock Creek community east of North Wilkesboro early Friday morning.

Shantae Kelly, 21, of Wilkesboro was walking in the southbound lane of Rock Creek Road toward N.C. 268 East with her back to traffic in that lane when she was hit by a Performance Fire Protection LLC van driven by Timothy Tharpe of Roaring River, said Trooper J.G. Barnes of the N.C. Highway Patrol. It was a 2015 Chevrolet Express van.

He said Kelly was pulling a suitcase on wheels when the accident occurred at 378 Rock Creek Road, less than a half mile from the intersection of Rock Creek Road and N.C. 268 East.

Video from a dashboard camera in the van showed she was walking in the roadway when the accident occurred, said Barnes, adding that it happened at 6:07 a.m. so it was still dark. He said the investigation is continuing.

Barnes said two Wilkes Sheriff’s Office deputies were on their way to check on a report the Wilkes Communications Center received of a woman walking in Rock Creek Road while pulling a suitcase when the accident occurred.

Wilkes Emergency Medical Services and Knotville Fire Department first responders were dispatched but the woman died at the scene.

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