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15-year-old struck, killed on I-85 in Davidson County

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — A 15-year-old boy died over the weekend after he was struck by a vehicle on I-85 in Davidson County.

Trooper T.L. Gillispie with the N.C. Highway Patrol said Lesly Joe Collins Jr. died shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday when he was struck by an SUV in the inside lane of I-85 North near Mile Marker 90.

Collins, who attended Central Davidson Middle School, allegedly ran away from the American Children’s Home in Lexington the night he was struck. 

He was reported missing around 3 a.m. after an alarm sounded from the cottage where he was staying, Dr. Russ Gobble, president of the Children’s Home, told The Lexington Dispatch.

Gobble told the paper Collins had been staying at the Children’s Home for about one month since being placed there by Guilford County Social Services. 

The teen previously made two attempts to run away from the Children’s Home on separate occasions, however he was “quickly located” each time, Gobble told The Dispatch.

“All of our kids here have special needs,” Gobble said.  “…It’s hard to pigeonhole someone who comes here. They need a safe haven.”

Gobble said he did not know why Collins left his cottage.  He said it wasn’t unusual for a child to leave their cottage and they typically contact the sheriff’s office within minutes if the child is not located.

Read more: The-Dispatch.com