KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — It was a difficult day for neighbors in Fountain City as they learned a local veterinarian was killed doing what she did best.
It all started around 8:30 p.m. Thursday when Dr. Kathryn Gilpatric ran from her house to help two of her neighbor’s dogs that had been struck on Garden Drive at Crestwood Road. Police started moving to block traffic while Gilpatric assisted the dog, but an Isuzu Amigo SUV struck her before they could shut down the lane. The SUV fled west on Garden Drive before turning south on Jacksboro Pike.
“I went running out here and I saw four police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck,â€ said Stuart Turner, who lived near Gilpatric. â€œI thought some child has gotten hit because I saw somebody on the road and it looked small.â€
Gilpatric was rushed to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where she passed away from her injuries early Friday morning. One of the dogs she was treating died on the scene.
“She put her own life in harmâ€™s way to help an animal and that’s what most of us get into it for,â€ said Dr. Matt Brent, an assistant veterinarian at Animal Emergency Critical Care in West Knoxville. â€œYou never know what you’re going to do in a situation like that but this individual obviously went above and beyond what not just any vet would do but what most normal people would do.â€
The second dog that Dr. Gilpatric was trying to help ended up survived.
Roselyn is a four month old black lab who received several broken bones and was being treated by Dr. Brent and a team of workers at the Animal Emergency Critical Care Center on Friday evening.
â€œIt’s earth shattering,â€ said Dr. Brent. â€œIt kind of brings you down to earth very quickly. I can’t imagine what the families and Dr. Gilpatricâ€™s co-workers are going through. The owners also lost a dog; I cannot imagine what they are going through.
Roselynâ€™s family wonâ€™t be able to pay for her surgery. The emergency care clinic has established a fund so the public can donate to help cover the black labâ€™s vet bills. You can make a donation to the fund by mailing or dropping off a check at the Animal Emergency Critical Care Center, care of the â€œRosey Fund.â€ The address for the center is 10213 Kingston Pike, Knoxville TN 37922.
Dr. Gilpatric practiced at the Cat Clinic in West Knoxville. Her funeral arrangements were incomplete late Friday night.
Police are still looking for the driver and vehicle that hit her. They say the SUV that hit her was dark in color, had a removable soft top and likely has damage to its front left corner. If you have any information, call the Knoxville Police Department Tip Line at (865) 215-7212.