NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Monday night Mike Manzari, 21, left his house in Castle Hayne for the last time.
“Last thing I saw was a smile on his face,” Manzari’s brother Nicholas McLaughlin said. “He must have wanted something from the store, and like he does so many times, he got his skateboard and rode up to the store.”
State troopers say it was around 7 p.m. when a man driving northbound hit Manzari in the 4500 block of North College Road near the Midway Kwik Stop. Manzari died at the scene.
A witness who saw the accident in his rear view mirror while driving south says he saw Manzari in the middle of the road riding his skateboard before he was hit. Family members say that just would not happen.
“He crosses (the street) with a skateboard in his hand,” McLaughlin said. “There is no way he was riding down the highway on his skateboard in the middle of the highway.”
The driver who hit him told state troopers he did not see Manzari and did not have time to hit his brakes. Troopers estimate the driver was going about 40 miles an hour when he hit Manzari.
Those who live in the area say it’s not surprising this happened.
“This is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in all of New Hanover County,” said James Watkins, who lives across the street from where Manzari was hit and killed. He says this occurs far too often.
“Within in a mile there is four crosses in road, and two other people that I know of that were killed that don’t have crosses,” McLaughlin said. “Something needs to be done about this stretch of road.”
Family members of Manzari just want him to be remembered for the great man he was.
“He was the happiest person that I knew and he was the best brother in the world,” McLaughlin said.
State troopers say there are no charges against the driver who hit Manzari.