A 77-year-old woman who was struck and killed while walking on Interstate 5 Saturday night was suffering from medical issues that may have caused her to wander from home, the Washington State Patrol said this morning.
Detective Matt Hughes with the State Patrol told The Chronicle Lily M. Rowland of Chehalis had left her home on Bishop Road, about one mile from where she was hit by a passing vehicle on Interstate 5 at about 10 p.m. Rowland was struck and killed by an unknown vehicle between milepost 73 and the Labree Road interchange as she walked southbound “in or very close to” a northbound lane of travel, Hughes said.
“It turns out she had some medical issues and she was suffering from what was believed to be dementia,” Hughes said, citing family members as the source of the information. “We’re not sure on her exact positioning, but two separate calls to 911 indicated she was walking very close to traffic.”
Hughes said responding troopers found a broken exterior light lens and a rear view mirror housing at the scene of the collision that he hopes lead to a positive make and model of a vehicle. The State Patrol is still searching for the driver and type of vehicle that struck Rowland and, according to the patrol, took off immediately from the scene.
Hughes renewed the call for members of the public who saw anything on Interstate 5 in the minutes surrounding 10 p.m. Saturday to come forward with information.
“We’re at a point where we believe public interaction is going to be critical to the remainder of our investigation,” Hughes said. “Anything we can get right now will help us tremendously.”
Anyone with information pertaining to the crash is asked to call Detective Hughes at (360) 449-7944. Hughes said the patrol may issue a formal press release later today with a possible make and model of the vehicle that hit Rowland.
Christopher Brewer: (360) 807-8235