GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) – What is normally a fun time for college students turned deadly in an instant early Friday morning.
Gulf Shores police said Justin Ellis Lott, 29, struck 19-year-old Kasey Nicole Waychoff around 1:45 a.m., which led to her death within the hour. They said he was drunk behind the wheel.
“Everyone was panicking. Everyone was in a pretty good circle around her just wondering, ‘What do we do? What do we do?’” Trevor Myers, one of the students who tried to help Waychoff, said. “A handful of people notified the authorities and everyone was just panicking so much, you know? Time went by so fast, you know.”
Myers and his friends who traveled from Kansas were staying in the condo across the street from where the Texas-born Waychoff had been staying with her Gamma Phi Beta sorority sisters. It was also just feet from where Waychoff was struck
Police investigators said after the incident, Lott kept driving.
“The vehicle actually continued traveling after the accident and the sheriff’s office made a traffic stop after being in the vicinity of the area,” Josh Coleman, a spokesman for the Gulf Shores Police Department, said.
Police said Waychoff was taken to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center where she died around 2:30 a.m.
“We all come down here to have fun, you know? We don’t come down here expecting anything like this, you know?” Myers said. “So once we’re all down here, I think we’re all part of something, you know? We’re all in the same spot.”
An outpouring of support for the victim’s family came through social media. People who never met the active sorority sister from Oklahoma State University showed solidarity and offered prayers to her family.
“It hurts to have a child in our community get hurt. I’m a parent and I’m a grandparent, and to lose a child here visiting is just unacceptable,” Mayor Robert Craft said.
“If there was one thing I could say, it’s just pray for the family. She’s got family back at home that are just wondering what now. And just…it’s tough, you know. Just keep praying and if there’s anything anyone can ever do, just let anybody know,” Myers said.
Lott is a Montgomery native who remains in the Gulf Shores City Jail tonight. He was charged with driving under the influence.