Police in Kentucky are trying to piece together why a Chicago architecture student struck and killed by a car was riding a bicycle in darkness on an unlit rural highway between Lexington and Frankfort.
Yishi Wei, 27, a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a native of China, died shortly after the accident, which occurred at about 9:15 p.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 421 in Woodford County, Ky., near the city of Versailles.
Wei was headed west when a car hit him from behind, said Versailles Police Lt. Daniel Clark. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
"The driver said he just flat didn't see him," Clark said.
He said police were still trying to determine why Wei was on the road. Among the items in Wei's backpack was a camera, but he had no clothes with him besides the black T-shirt and blue jeans he was wearing, Clark said. Wei was not wearing a helmet.
Most intriguing, the lieutenant said, was a hand-drawn map that traced a route from Chicago to Champaign, then to Indianapolis, Lexington, Ky., Louisville and a few other towns before returning to Chicago.
The map lists the mileage from town to town, Clark said, and there was nothing among Wei's possessions that indicated he was staying nearby.
"How he found his way down here, we don't know yet, "Clark said. "It appears he went on a bicycle trip."
Authorities have contacted Wei's relatives in China, and they are traveling to Kentucky. No charges have been filed against the driver.
IIT spokesman Evan Venie said Wei was a full-time graduate student in the architecture department and that he had been at the school since last fall. Spring-semester exams ended on May 6.
Clark asked anyone with information to call Versailles police at 859-873-3126.
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