A Bell County woman was critically injured Tuesday evening when she was hit by a vehicle while walking along U.S. 119, leaving her 4-year-old daughter alone beside the highway, state police said.
The driver who hit Wendy Warren, 25, of Kettle Island, did not stop. Warren's daughter was walking with her when she was hit but received only minor cuts, said Lt. PJ Burnett of the Kentucky State Police Post in Harlan.
A motorist saw the girl beside the road and stopped to help her, keeping her in his car until state police arrived.
"It's just a wonder she didn't get run over, too," Burnett said.
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State police did not release the girl's name. A family member of Warren's boyfriend said the girl's name is Emily.
The girl was alone only a short time before the motorist stopped to help her, Burnett said.
The girl gave differing stories, but all related to her mother being hurt. "She knew that something was bad," Burnett said.
Burnett found Warren in the ditch on the southbound side of the road.
State police said Warren was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. The hospital could not provide an update on her condition Wednesday afternoon.
However, Charles Deaton, the great-uncle of Warren's boyfriend, said she is in grave condition.
Deaton said Warren and Emily were at a family member's home and Warren called him to pick her up. He couldn't go, so his son went, but Warren had been hit before he got there, Deaton said.
Deaton said family members think Warren had gone to stand beside the road so the person coming to pick her up could see her.
"It takes somebody low down to do something like that," hitting a person and running off, Deaton said.
The girl was treated for minor injuries at Pineville Community Hospital. Authorities took her to a McDonald's restaurant nearby to get something to eat, and a family member later picked her up, Burnett said.
The collision happened in the Calvin community, in the eastern part of Bell County. State police received the call at 8:47 p.m. Tuesday.
Deaton said Warren, who had health problems and did not work, has two other daughters besides Emily. The family hopes whoever hit her will come forward.
State police have asked that anyone with information about the wreck — including information about a vehicle with new damage near the passenger-side headlight — call the Harlan post at (606) 573-3131.