A 35-year-old Puyallup woman was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with head trauma and other injuries Monday evening after being hit by a Dodge Durango on the shoulder of Vail Road Southeast, according to Thurston County Sheriff Lt. Tim Rudloff.
“The investigation revealed that the victim of the crash was the passenger in an SUV who passed a cat on the shoulder of Vail Road,” Rudloff said. “She told the driver of the Tahoe to turn around so they could check on the cat.”
The Tahoe parked in the oncoming lane just over the rise of a hill on the tail end of a corner, and the driver and passenger both got out of the vehicle to look for the cat, he said.
The driver of the Dodge Durango approached the scene, slammed on the brakes and swerved to miss the SUV, but struck the woman, Rudloff said.
The SUV’s emergency flashers were on, but so were its high beams and that contributed to the collision, he said.
“(The Dodge’s driver) came over this rise, sees bright headlights right at her in her lane ... so she darts to the corner and she doesn’t see the victim who is in dark clothing and crouched down,” Rudloff said.
The driver of the Dodge wasn’t impaired and isn’t expected to face criminal charges, Rudloff said.
The collision occurred in the 12900 block of Vail Road Southeast just before 7 p.m.