UPDATED: First Flight High School student dies trying to run across U.S. 158 in Nags Head

Ersi Shabanaj

A 15-year-old girl who recently moved to the Outer Banks from Albania died Saturday night after being struck by a vehicle while she tried to run across U.S. 158 in Nags Head.

The collision happened in the 2400 block of South Croatan Highway near mile post 10.5 around 7:39 p.m., according to a press release.

Police said she tried to cross the five-lane highway from the west side, and was struck in the northbound, inside lane by a pickup driven by a 65-year-old man from Nags Head.

Three off-duty EMS employees who were nearby immediately started CPR and were able to restore a pulse, but the teen later died of her injuries at The Outer Banks Hospital.

The Dare County Schools announced Monday the victim was Ersi Shabanaj, a freshman at First Flight High School.

“We have sent additional counselors and social workers to support the FFHS student body and staff today and as needed during the upcoming week,” said Superintendent John Farrlley. “Students are encouraged to reach out to administrators, counselors, and staff as needed as we mourn the loss of Ersi and try to begin the healing process.”

A GoFundMe has been established to Ersi’s family.

While the incident is still under investigation, neither speed nor alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash. Charges are not expected to be brought against the driver.

Nags Head’s Police and Fire and Rescue Departments expressed their thanks to everyone who assisted at the scene, and that their thoughts are with the families who have been impacted.

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Sam Walker was news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.