STAFFORD, Va. - A woman who was fatally struck along with her dog on Interstate 95 in Stafford County Saturday night served as a medic in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve, her family said.
Virginia State Police said 28-year-old Katie Mason was traveling in her 2007 Toyota Camry when her vehicle ran off the roadway and hit a guardrail. Her dog Stella escaped from the Camry after the crash and Mason chased after her pet on the southbound lanes of I-95.
Both Mason and her dog were struck after a 2012 Honda Civic was unable to avoid the pair on the highway. They both died at the scene.
Mason's family said in a statement on Monday:
"Katie was a fiercely protective momma to her pets Stella and Sapphire. She was passionate about all creatures big and small specifically big cats (lions) and small dogs. She served in the Army National Guard and army reserves as a medic. She graduated from VCU with a degree in biology and was an avid Rams Basketball fan. She loved Shaka.
In lieu of flowers the family is asking donations be made to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF.ORG) in Katie's name. She would have loved to know she helped save just one lion."
Virginia State Police are still investigating the incident.