PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – Dominic Dixon, 33, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he struck and killed a Washington State Ferries worker with his car last month and then drove off without stopping.
He is being held in the Kitsap County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Police say 34-year-old Katherine Phillips was hit and killed while she was helping a stranded motorist on the side of the road on March 22.
Now the woman Phillips was trying to help is talking for the first time since the crash. Katy Meeker is also a mother and still somewhat blames herself for what happened that night.
“When I saw her personality, when I saw her take-charge attitude, I knew this was going to be OK. I thought this was going to be OK and I told her that she was going to have really good luck, really good karma for helping me,” said Meeker.
It was Meeker’s SUV that ran out of gas on State Route 160 early that Thursday morning.
“I didn’t know where I was, on a long dark road and I wasn’t going to get out by myself. And here comes Katie to my rescue,” said Meeker.
Police say Phillips stopped to help Meeker – even took her to buy gas –but while they were both trying to fill up Meeker’s tank, police say a car plowed into them.
“The next thing I knew my face was cold,” recalled Meeker. “That’s what woke me and I was on the pavement. That’s why I felt cold and it took me a second to realize what just happened.”
Washington State Patrol troopers say Dixon ignored several caution flares and then struck Phillips with his car while he drove westbound on SR 160.
“I just couldn’t believe he didn’t stop, that he didn’t feel guilty,” said Meeker.
Phillips left behind a husband, two young boys and a family who called her the rock in their family.
Meeker says she was injured in the crash and complained she still feels pain in her leg and shoulder but she won’t ever forget watching the driver flee the scene without appearing to slow down.
“The next second I realized that Katie was gone,” she said.
Meeker now struggles with the worry that somehow she’s responsible for Dixon’s alleged behavior. She said she spoke to Q13 News to help bring justice to the Phillips family.
“I don’t understand how the person who hit her isn’t feeling even a sliver of the guilt that I feel,” she said. “I couldn’t live with that.”