SALUDA COUNTY (WIS) - A 16-year-old who had attended church with his girlfriend earlier in the evening was killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking home late Sunday night.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says the collision happened on South Carolina 23 near Duncan Road in Ward.
Saluda County Coroner B. Keith Turner identified the victim as Tarik Coleman, a junior at Batesburg-Leesville High School.
On Friday, there was a pep rally because it is homecoming week. Tarik's mom was there and students presented her with flowers in memory of her son.
Tarik's teachers say he was a great kid.
The rock outside of Batesburg-Leesville High School is now a memorial for 16-year-old Tarik Coleman.
"His nickname was feet because he walked everywhere," said teacher Tisha Jeffcoat.
Troopers say Coleman was walking home Sunday night after attending church and spending time with his girlfriend.
He was struck and killed on SC 23.
"It was very hard to hear that mom cry for her baby," Jeffcoat said. "You know, how can somebody do this to my child?"
Kay Alford was one of Coleman's teachers.
"He had goals in life," Alford said. "He wanted to be something, make something out of himself and he especially liked helping others."
Coleman called Jeffcoat, "mama Tish."
Jeffcoat hopes the person responsible for his death, fesses up.
"You can't live with that on your heart and I just pray, pray, pray that person comes forward," Jeffcoat said.
Coleman loved football, track, and having fun.
Coleman's grandfather is a pastor and those who knew Coleman say the young man wouldn't want people to cry for him.
"He is up there and he is having a blast, and we are here having to suffer," Jeffcoat said. "We need to remember that that he's where he is supposed to be. That's what God's plan was."
Lance Cpl. David Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the unknown vehicle that hit Coleman left the scene traveling west toward Johnston.
MAIT investigators are examining evidence to try to determine what type of vehicle hit Coleman.
If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or the South Carolina Highway Patrol at 864-241-1000 (option 1) or 1-800-768-1503. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible to receive a cash reward.
Services are scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Pine Hill Mission Baptist Church in Johnston.