Rosa Lee Hixon, 72, of Rossville, was struck by a 19-year-old male driver who lost control of his vehicle following an argument his ex-girlfriend.
The accident occurred just after 4 p.m. outside of Bell’s Smoke Shop in a shopping center at the intersection of West Gordon Avenue and Brody Lane, Rossville police chief Sid Adams said.
After shopping at the tobacco store, Hixon was about to get in her car when she was hit.
"It appeared she was legally parked on the side of the street in front of one of the businesses," Adams said. "She had exited the business and was about to get back in her vehicle when she was hit."
Hixon had been standing adjacent to her driver's door when the suspect, identified as Brandon Lee Dillard of Foster Lane in Ringgold, lost control of his vehicle and struck her car, Adams said.
"He struck the left rear quarter panel area with the right front of his vehicle, then kind of bounced off of her vehicle and struck her.
"I understand he had some sort of a little verbal altercation" with his female companion in the vehicle,” Adams said. "He had told our detective that he had an argument with her. ... Apparently he was distraught or upset about the situation, came out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed, struck the lady’s vehicle in the rear and then struck her."
The ex-girlfriend's identity has not been released.
Dillard was the only occupant in his vehicle. He met an ex-girlfriend who drove her vehicle to the parking lot with a female passenger who witnessed the exchange, according to Adams. Dillard and the woman argued. The only physical act was the ex-girlfriend throwing a key at Dillard, according to witness statements. The female is not facing any charges in the case, according to Adams.
Dillard fled the scene, leaving the shopping center parking lot along Chickamauga Avenue and turning onto West Gordon Avenue.
"Speed has not been determined yet although it appears by witness statements that when he exited the parking lot that he was traveling at a high rate of speed or in a reckless manner," Adams said.
Dillard's red Kia Sportage was spotted at the Rossville Police Department shortly thereafter. He went to keep a meeting with his probation officer, a few minutes after the accident, Adams said. Dillard was already on probation for prior traffic charges.
“Our officers had a description of the vehicle and observed it in our parking lot,” Adams said.
Dillard has been charged with felony vehicular homicide and misdemeanors for reckless driving, driving while license suspended or revoked, no insurance, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Investigators were on the scene for two hours after the wreck documenting and collecting evidence, in addition to impounding the vehicle Dillard was driving.
Dillard acknowledged knowing he hit the vehicle but claims to have not seen the woman's head hit his windshield, Adams said.