2013-02-14 / Front Page

Hit and Run Accident Takes Life of Tanglewood Resident

A hit and run accident took the life of Tanglewood resident, Susie Woelfel, age 55, Tuesday morning, at about 2:35 a.m. The vehicle/ pedestrian accident occurred at 11485 Hwy. 77, about .4 of a mile north of CR 418 in Tanglewood, north of Lexington.

While the DPS report is limited in the information provided, witnesses at the scene shortly after it happened said that Susie and her husband, Ronnie, were awakened by their dogs, barking loudly. They saw the headlights of a vehicle pass by the area, so they got in their car and followed the vehicle, flashing their lights at it when they reached Hwy. 77.

The vehicle, driven by Abigail Matthews of Rockdale, pulled over onto the northbound shoulder and put her flashers on.

Susie and Ronnie stopped behind her, also putting on their flashers, but were partially in the northbound lane of Hwy. 77 and partially on the shoulder.

According to the DPS report, Susie exited her vehicle to talk with the driver and her passenger, Curtis Foster. The couple advised Susie that they were just driving around the area so Foster could show Matthews where he once lived in the Tanglewood community.

That’s when a large truck with a trailer in tow came up on the two vehicles parked on the side of the road.

Susie was standing in the roadway when she was struck by the truck, which failed to stop and render aid, but kept traveling north on Hwy. 77.

Ronnie said he thought it was an 18-wheeler, but he couldn’t be sure that it was. It could have been a large pickup truck with a trailer in tow.

DPS Trooper Jeremy Weiser said it appeared that Susie had been hit in the head by something sticking out of the truck; whether that was the mirror or something else, he wasn’t sure.

Members of the Tanglewood Volunteer Fire Department, including Fire Chief Guy Hall, Jr, Asst. Fire Chief Guy Hall, III, Rick Murphee, Kaleb Williams, and David Hodges, along with Joby Reynolds and Linda Patshcke with the Lexington EMS, responded to the scene. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department also helped with the investigation.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Candace Walch was called to do the inquest.

Trooper Weiser said they called all departments north of Tanglewood to keep an eye out for a truck/trailer combination that may have been involved, but no report was sent, by any department, back to Lee County.

Guy Hall, III, said, “Please encourage people to be extra cautious when driving around vehicles parked on the side of the road, especially if they have their hazard lights on. Slow down when approaching them or emergency vehicles working the scene of an accident or other incident. This accident could have been avoided if caution had been used on the part of the driver of the truck.”

Trooper Weiser echoed those concerns.

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