Sheriff: Disoriented soldier killed in Tennessee after walking into road

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

PLEASANT VIEW, Tenn. (WKRN) – A young soldier based out of Fort Campbell was killed after he was hit on a Pleasant View highway early Saturday morning.

Courtesy: Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office
Courtesy: Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office

Investigators say the accident happened around 4 a.m. when Austin McGrough walked into the middle of Highway 41A and was hit by a BMW driven by an 18-year-old girl.

Cheatham County Detective Jeff Landis said the young driver had no way to avoid the collision.

According to Det. Landis, McGrough had been snorting Percocet and drinking grain alcohol after having his wisdom teeth removed a few days prior.

He and four other soldiers reportedly left Fort Campbell on Friday and were staying at a home on Highway 41A.

For an unknown reason, McGeough left his group of friends at the home and wandered a short distance to Pleasant View Nursery and Florists where investigators say he broke through the back door and pulled over shelves loaded with jams and jellies. Detectives said he may have been swarmed by wasps, though the owners of the nursery adamantly deny that.

While still in the nursery, McGeough made a series of rambling calls to 911 asking for help before cancelling the request.

In one of the calls, McGeough states that someone is stalking him.

“They’re stalking me right now. I swear to God. I walked into the woods. People who wanted to stalk… oh my God, never mind,” he tells the operator.

Courtesy: Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office
Courtesy: Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office

After making the call to 911, the Fort Campbell soldier left the nursery, leaving behind his wallet and cell phone. Police said nothing was stolen.

It still is unknown why McGeough strayed out onto Highway 41A. Investigators said he stood on the yellow line and when the BMW came toward him, he reportedly leaned into it.

A friend of the nursey owners, Wendy Young said she has spoken to friends of the young BMW driver.

“She said she [the driver] has been crying all weekend in bed. [She] doesn’t want to go back to school,” Young said.

According to Young, while the teenager was calling 911, two other cars ran over the soldier and kept driving. Detectives want to talk to those drivers.

“That’s something she has to live with the rest of her life,” Young said.

The teen, according to authorities, is dating a mutual friend of McGrough, who is also a solider.

No charges have been filed.

McGeough, who was from Connecticut, was an E-4 specialist and had been stationed at nearby Fort Campbell for the last 17 months.

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