Mo-ped rider killed by hit-and-run driver in Bullitt County

BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man on a mo-ped was left for dead Monday by a hit-and-run driver.

The car and mo-ped collided on Highway 44 in Bullitt County early Monday morning. There was a lot of debris from both at the scene. In fact, that's what led police to the suspect.

"The mo-ped was laying in a ditch right there," said Shane Stinnett, who lives across the street.

Stinnett was one of the first people on the scene. He said debris was everywhere, but there were no signs of a victim.

"There were shoes in the road, so then I realized that somebody had probably been hit, but I didn't see anybody."

Stinnett and another neighbor called police.

"During a search of the area, they found a 29-year old white male approximately 150-feet away in a ditch line," said Captain Mike Murdoch with Bullitt County Sheriff's Office.

Walter "Berry" Bergin III was pronounced dead at the scene, and Bullitt County Detectives turned their attention to finding the owner of the car.

"Deputies and detectives with the Bullitt County Sheriff's Reconstruction Unit located pieces of the hit-and-run vehicle at the scene --including a hood badge that showed it was a Hyundai vehicle," Captain Murdoch said.

Murdoch said the next stop was the owner's home in Pleasure Ridge Park.

"The owner stated that her daughter was driving the vehicle and reported that she had hit a deer," Murdoch said.

Captain Murdoch said Emily Hickey, 22, was driving the car.

"It appears the female was westbound in the eastbound lane, for an unknown reason, and struck the mo-ped head on," Murdoch said.

Murdoch said Hickey's airbag deployed, and surveillance video from a nearby business showed the collision and what the victim did right before the impact.

"Based upon what the detective saw in the video, it appears that he did attempt evasive action to avoid the vehicle," Captain Murdoch said.

Police said Hickey also admitted she had been drinking, but thought she hit a deer, not a person.

"The facts don't add up to that, so I don't believe that that's what happened. She admitted that she had one glass of wine the night before."

Police said there seems to be more to the story.

"Even if the collision occurred at a different location and hit a deer as she stated, she continued to drive with that airbag deployed."

It was dark and the middle of the night, but Murdoch explained what the driver should have done even if she thought it was an animal in the road.

"Stop, call 911, and tell them you struck something, let us come."

"It appears to me that there has been some potential wash-off of the vehicle on the front end and everything else before it was taken to the body shop."

Murdoch said Hickey's reaction after hearing someone had been killed was a little disturbing.

"Her actual first statement to us was that she had finals in an hour and a half, when we told her that. It did throw me off a little bit that she was more worried about her finals than the fact that we were telling her she was being arrested for a hit-and-run where someone died."

Hickey was eventually arrested and the car taken into police custody.

"It's just sad that somebody was hit and killed," Stinnett said.

It is all still pretty upsetting to Stinnett, but he is glad police found the driver.

"That makes it better," he said. "Just the whole thing could have been avoided."

Family members at the scene told WDRB that Bergin has a 6-year-old daughter. Hickey is charged with murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

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