Local News

Boy, 12, dies after being hit by car outside group home

Posted March 11, 2014

— A 12-year-old boy died Monday night after a car hit him as he walked along a Johnston County road outside the group home where he lived, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

Authorities responding around 8:20 p.m. to a call about a wreck found Khalil Todd dead in front of The Lighthouse, at 1521 Ranch Road, about 2 miles outside of Clayton.

Authorities say the driver, Brian Session, 24, was traveling southwest on Ranch Road and hit Todd with the front right side of his 2008 Honda Accord.

Neighbors said Todd was wearing all black last night and that they frequently saw him in the road, carrying a big stick.

Session turned around after the boy was hit and was devastated, crying next to his car, they said.

An unidentified caller told a 911 operator there were no street lights and that Todd was in the middle of the road.

"We just looked up, and he was in the middle of the street, and we didn't have time to stop," the caller said.

Session could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Troopers are still investigating the wreck but said it did not appear that speed or alcohol were factors.

A Highway Patrol spokesman said it will be up to the Johnston County District Attorney's Office to determine whether charges will be filed in the case.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, The Lighthouse – owned by KMG Holding Inc. – is a Level III residential treatment facility for young men with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A Level III facility in North Carolina means it is a highly structured and supervised environment.

Neighbors said they have been concerned for a long time about residents of the group home playing in the street.

"Sometimes, they're out there skateboarding in the road, and they'll play basketball and lose the basketball and go out into the road. So, it's been very troubling," said Phil Langford.

"We just kept saying that something is going to happen, and pitifully, it did."

Tammy Amaon, a spokeswoman for the Johnston County Sheriff's Office said deputies have responded to the home 213 times since 2006. The majority of calls, she said, were for one of three reasons – neighbors reporting disturbances, residents going missing and trouble with patients.

The Lighthouse management group released a statement Tuesday morning: "The Board of Directors and staff of The Lighthouse are truly saddened by this tragic accident, and we are keeping his family in our prayers."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • barbstillkickin Mar 12, 2014

    This is such a terrible story and I am so sorry for the loss but I am also so sorry for the driver who did nt see the child. Why was this child even out there in the street. Where are these people we pay to take care f these children who need help. My prayers go out to all the families of both the child and the driver.

  • Hanging On Mar 12, 2014

    jonrosstaylor - the speed limit on Ranch Road is 55 MPH. It is a dark, country road with no street lights.

  • jackaroe123 Mar 12, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Sounds like you're emphasizing that you are withholding prayer for the family of the dead child b/c he somehow deserved this. Way to represent your faith.

  • LastSon1981 Mar 12, 2014

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    So you assume he was driving responsibly while bashing him for assuming that he wasn't? Also I dont know where your speedometer is that you have to take your eyes off the road and "look down" at it because I can see mine fine using my peripherals

  • mam Mar 12, 2014

    I had first hand experience with this program and this child. This was not an appropriate program for this child by no means. I expressed concerns with management about the inability to control this child and questioned the safety for him as well as other program participants. The mental health programs available in this state for our youth are severely lacking and in the majority of these programs it is all about the money. These group homes receive a significant amount of money per month per child, more than enough to have ample staff. If a program is not a good fit for a child, the staff should work to locate a program that is in the best interest of the child to ensure their safety and progression towards reentering normal life. There is no way to bring this child back and I only hope that this at least forces the hand of someone to pay more attention to what is really going on in these programs and get rid of the ones that are substandard.

  • anon022 Mar 12, 2014

    Regardless of the neighborhood, the time of day, etc, this child should have been supervised. Being that he was in a level III home, that means that he should have been monitored for health and safety at all times. I understand that the boy is at the age where he might want some alone time but that doesn't mean let him wander around outside unsupervised. The neighbors said they saw him out there frequently. If I was the parent of another child in that facility, I would be moving them ASAP. Obviously the employees there are not doing their jobs.

    As for the driver, as long as speed and alcohol were not factors, I don't think he should be charged. Those back roads are dark and if the boy was wearing all black, I see how this could happen in an instant.

    Prayers to this boy's family and to the driver.

  • Justic4All Mar 11, 2014

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    "A Level III facility in North Carolina means it is a highly structured and supervised environment."

    Define supervised.. It is lacking in this instance. Why would someone go after the driver? SR's are not side streets, not playgrounds.

  • AFJC1234 Mar 11, 2014

    I will miss his rare smile and how hard he tried to rise above his issues. RIP Khalil, may you find a better life on the other side.

  • TME75 Mar 11, 2014

    A level three in North Carolina is a step up from a therapeutic foster home. Therapeutic foster homes are specially trained foster parents that take in children who've been severally abused (sexually or physically). A level three facility takes them in when those foster parents can not handle them any longer. Has anyone looked into this company who owns this place? Because the corporation who owns the facility is different from the man who actually owns the home. What is KMG Holding? It's interesting what's out there on the Internet. Don't get the pitchforks out yet and go after the driver. Driving on these dark country roads, anything can happen. I'm not condoning this in anyway. But my anger is not towards the driver. Plastered across WRAL's website are stories of children being killed. If this child was seen by neighbors roaming the street often, WHY WAS NOTHING DONE? We are too quick to think its someone else's problem. NC needs to get angry and do something. Starting with this.

  • jonrosstaylor Mar 11, 2014

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    Dude, he's in a care facility! The facility is supposed to be acting in loco parentis! They have a responsibility to look after him since his parents aren't there to do so, and if anything, they ought to err on the side of caution! Its not like people are saying they ought to be checking his dental hygiene, we're talking about keeping him out of traffic!
    Do this for me - go to google maps and type in that address, and pull up a street view - like I did. Tell me you would let your 12 year old child play on that road after dark. I grew up "out in the country" too, and let me tell you, folks FLY down those roads - country highway with no stop signs or traffic lights, most folks are doing 55.