State police are trying to unravel details in the death of a woman hit and killed by a car on Interstate 75 soon after reporting that she was involved in a domestic dispute, but her boyfriend has refused to speak with investigators.
Hope Pierce, 25, of Maryville, Tenn., was killed early Wednesday after pulling over on the side of the road, state police said Thursday.
Police said Pierce was arguing with Phillip Randy Meade II, 22, of Medora, Ind. The two were dating, said trooper Don Trosper, a state police spokesman.
Trosper said Pierce had been in Indiana with Meade, and the two were traveling back to Tennessee early Wednesday when they got into an argument as they drove south on I-75 in Rockcastle County.
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Pierce called 911 and said she was having an argument with her boyfriend, but the call dropped before dispatchers could get more information.
State police were notified of that call at 4:12 a.m.
Police said they think people who knew Pierce and Meade were traveling with them in a separate vehicle.
Not long after Pierce called 911, she and Meade apparently pulled over, and Meade got into the other vehicle and left, Trosper said. Shortly after that, a man traveling south on I-75 called 911 to report that he thought he had hit a deer.
When Mount Vernon police went to assist him, however, they discovered that he had hit Pierce. State police were notified of that at 4:27 a.m.
The man who hit Pierce stopped. Police did not charge him.
Pierce was standing close to the right-hand lane of the interstate, near an exit to Mount Vernon, when she was hit, police said.
Police found a car registered to Pierce at the scene.
One issue under investigation is whether Pierce was impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Trosper said Meade apparently left the state after he got out of Pierce's vehicle.
Meade's family has talked with police, but he has refused to come back to Kentucky or talk to police, Trosper said.
Trosper said Meade might be concerned about liability in Pierce's death. But if the information police have received so far is true, it does not appear that Meade would be charged with anything, he said.