Good Samaritan killed on Sedgwick while helping stranded motorist

The victim, Katie Phillips of Belfair, was a Washington State Ferries employee.

SOUTHWORTH — A female motorist stopping to help a stranded motorist at Sedgwick Road and Peppermill Place Southeast was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver at about 5 a.m. this morning, March 22.

Katie Phillips, 34, was a Washington State Ferries employee who lived in Belfair. She had finished her night shift at the Southworth ferry terminal when she stopped to assist the motorist.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Russ Winger said Phillips stopped on the dark, rainy roadway near the Southworth ferry dock to assist a motorist who had run out of fuel. The woman helper then went to fill a container of fuel, returned to the scene and parked her car on the west shoulder of Peppermill Place Southeast.

“She walked back to the disabled car, which was partially in the westbound lane of Peppermill,” Winger said. “She was in the act of trying to fuel up the car for the other person when another car traveling westbound struck her as she stood outside the vehicle, then continued on after striking the person.”

Winger said the witness was understandably shaken by the incident and was unable to provide more information.

“We think it may have been a sedan-type vehicle, possibly a Camry-type style. We think we might have a gold or tan-color vehicle [as a possibility].”

A first WSP report stated the fleeing vehicle was dark-colored.

The state trooper said there was no indication that speed played a role in the incident, although investigators are taking tire tread measurements at the scene, which closed Sedgwick Road for several hours.

On March 23, Amy Scarton, the Washington State Ferries assistant secretary of WSDOT/Ferries Division, issued this statement about their employee’s death:

“On Thursday, we lost a beloved member of the WSF family, on-call Terminal Attendant Katie Phillips. I would like to express my deepest condolences to Katie’s family and friends. I have heard from many of her fellow employees who described how wonderful she was to work with and how she was always willing to lend a helping hand. Her positive presence at the Southworth terminal will never be forgotten.”

“We do hope that this person who was driving the car will come back and get in touch with law enforcement and make it right,” Winger said. “It was a tragedy.

“We had somebody die out here. If they’d stopped, that’s all it would have been. Now, we’re looking at a homicide felony hit and run. We’re just hoping we they can reverse that.”

Anyone with information to provide about the incident should call the Washington State Patrol at 360-473-0300.