AMBER TWP. — The 25-year-old Walkerville woman killed early Saturday morning in a vehicle and pedestrian crash on U.S. 10 west of Dennis Road in Amber Township has been identified as Cecilia Knowles, according to a press release from Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.
Knowles died when she was walking eastbound on U.S. 10 in the roadway and was struck by a 2004 KIA passenger vehicle traveling eastbound in the right lane, according to the release.
The KIA was driven by a 51-year-old Branch man, who was uninjured in the crash. His passenger, a 34-year-old Branch woman, was treated at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
“The investigation has revealed Ms. Knowles was a passenger in a friend’s vehicle that was heading eastbound on U.S. 10 when she began to argue with the driver,” Cole stated in the press release. “The driver of that vehicle alleges Ms. Knowles punched him in the face, and he had an injury to his face to support that claim.
“Ms. Knowles got out of the vehicle in the Burger King parking lot around 2:30 a.m. and allegedly refused to get back in, despite several attempts by the driver to encourage her to do so. The driver of this vehicle then left the scene and Ms. Knowles,” Cole stated.
“At 3:01 a.m., a vehicle traveling eastbound on U.S. 10 had to swerve to miss (Knowles), who was walking in the road. This motorist called 911 after attempting to get Ms. Knowles to get off the road but she refused to do so,” Cole said.
He said three Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputies who were already responding to a domestic call in the 3900 block of North U.S. 31 were notified of the person walking in the road at 3:04 a.m. One of the deputies then responded to the area of U.S. 10 and Dennis Road.
Four minutes later, as the deputy was heading west on U.S. 10 from the U.S. 31 bypass, Knowles was struck and killed by the KIA, which was a vehicle “totally unrelated to the previous events,” Cole said.
Cole stated in an earlier press release that, “Neither speed nor alcohol appear to have been involved on behalf of the driver of the vehicle, and toxicology tests are pending on the deceased.”
Life EMS, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Reconstruction Team and the Pere Marquette Township Fire Department all responded to the incident as well.
Authorities stopped eastbound traffic on U.S. 10 at the Brye Road intersection as the scene was investigated. Fire units cleared the scene shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday.