Warren K. Cook III

Warren Keaton Cook III smiles as he opens Christmas presents Wednesday. Cook died a few hours later after he was hit by car on U.S. Highway 190 in Killeen.

Courtesy photo

A photo taken early Wednesday shows Warren Keaton Cook III smiling in front of open Christmas presents. It is one of the last photos of the 20-year-old Killeen man.

Cook was killed later that afternoon when he was struck by a silver Ford Mustang traveling in the outside lane of East U.S. Highway 190 in Killeen.

Witnesses said Cook was standing on the side of the road and ran in front of the car, according to police.

“We still haven’t figured out why my brother stepped (and) ran into traffic,” said Kasandra Lynn Hedgewood, Cook’s older sister. “But he was very sweet and humble. He was quiet, but the way he loved us was so loud.”

Cook was the youngest of three siblings, said Hedgewood, who currently lives in North Carolina. He was not employed but was taking care of his mother, a former teacher at Rancier Middle School.

Speaking to the Herald on Friday, Hedgewood said the family did not fault the driver of the vehicle for what happened.

“We just want closure, and we want the driver of the Mustang to know that we don’t blame them at all,” Hedgewood said.

Cook’s death is under investigation by Killeen police. No autopsy was ordered because the cause of death, blunt force trauma to the head and body, wasn’t in question, according to Bell County Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin, who pronounced Cook dead at 5:18 p.m. Wednesday.

However, Potvin said a blood sample was taken and will be tested.

“We are required by law to get a blood screening for all motor vehicle fatalities,” he said.

It will take about eight weeks to get the results of the screening, Potvin added.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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