COROLLA -- A husband and wife from Lancaster, Pennsylvania died along Highway 12 Monday morning after an SUV ran over them.
Wesley and Elizabeth Martin were walking along the roadway just below the Timbuck II shopping center when an SUV hit them from behind. They were 10 feet off the road at the time.
"There's not enough space for everybody," said Amanda Sullivan, who works at Timbuck II. "It's a two-lane highway. It's dangerous."
Marcia Hornstein, who owns a video store in the shopping center, agreed.
"If you go through Duck, Southern Shores, or up by Corolla Light, there are bike paths, and there are walk paths, but this is dead man's land," Hornstein told 13News Now
The driver of the SUV, 50-year-old Troy Bowman of Ashburn, Virginia told North Carolina State Highway Patrol he fell asleep at the wheel. Bowman's son was in the SUV with him at the time. Troopers said Bowman stayed at the site after he hit the Martins and started CPR on Elizabeth Martin in an effort to save her life.
"I can see, immediately, that his windshield -- both sides -- is cracked, and I'm thinking, if somebody went through the windshield, it would be out, so I knew he had at least hit something, and I knew it had to be bad," Hornstein said.
"It made me sick to my stomach, because I seriously thought somebody had hit a deer, and when I got here, I found out two people had been ran over," explained Sullivan. "To hear that it was an actual couple with children, it breaks my heart, dude, because I mean, now, they're parentless, so it's just, it's something this community has to come together and get right."
Hornstein believed the way to do that, in part, is to address the lack of space for people who are walking, running, or cycling on the side of Highway 12, especially when the attraction of the Outer Banks seems to draw more visitors each year.
"Sidewalks, bike paths, I'm not sure if it would have made a difference in this particular kind of an accident, but it sure is gonna make a difference for people who want to come down and vacation and feel safe," noted Hornstein.
1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said Bowman was charged with Careless and Reckless Driving and 2 counts of Misdemeanor Death by a Motor Vehicle. There were no signs that Bowman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Martins' 4 children, ages 11 through 18, were down on the beach with other family members at the time of the crash.
Bowman was released on a $2.000 bond.