WMU student struck and killed; woman in custody

Posted at 4:35 AM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 19:53:35-04

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A Western Michigan University student out for a late-night run was struck and killed Wednesday night by a hit-and-run driver.

Nic Heil, courtesy photo.

Nicholas Heil, 21 from Fruitport, was hit while jogging on KL Avenue near Copper Beach Boulevard, between 8th Avenue and US-131. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said deputies received a phone call at 9:20pm alerting them to what happened.

"When deputies arrived they found a person in need of medical attention," said Fuller. "Medical first responders were arriving and efforts were put forward to try and save this person’s life ultimately they were unsuccessful."

Fuller said the suspect drove away from the incident. Hours after the crash, deputies received another call, this one coming from a relative of the suspect who told them where they can meet and speak with the suspect.

"Ultimately at the end of a conversation with the suspect driver, there was an arrest made and the suspect was brought in for a test, alcohol test," said Fuller.  "The results of that are pending. So that’s why the suspect has been released at this time."

Fuller said the suspect was a 22-year-old woman from Kalamazoo. She was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.  Investigators are looking into possible other factors that may have led to the crash like speeding and the location itself.

"We’ve seen this before," said Fuller.  "Nobody fully expects to have to go through these incidents. We’ve had people in the past do very similar [things] and then call as soon as they come to their senses as to 'Wow this just happened.'

If you know anything, contact the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office at 269-383-8821 or anonymously at Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.