Local college student charged in deadly hit-and-run released on bond

Bailey Carlson. (Bell County Jail photo)
Bailey Carlson. (Bell County Jail photo)(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 13, 2019 at 4:21 PM CDT
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A University of Mary Hardin-Baylor student charged in connection with a hit-and-run that left a young father of two dead was free on bond Monday.

Bailey Carlson, 23, was arrested Thursday afternoon just hours after the victim’s funeral.

She has been released from the Bell County Jail after posting a $150,000 bond, a sheriff’s official confirmed Monday.

Carlson is charged with failure to stop and render aid resulting in death stemming from the June 6 hit-and-run that claimed the life of Kayn Kemp, 26, of McGregor.

Carlson told police she was trying to plug in her cell phone when the pickup truck she was driving struck Kemp who was walking along an area highway on his way to his night shift job, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Kemp was walking north on the shoulder of State Highway 317 at around 10:30 p.m. on June 6 when he was struck from behind.

He died at the scene.

His body was found on the roadside after he failed to arrive for work at Ferguson Enterprises.

"His headphones were behind, his backpack was broken from the impact, and his body was flung,” his wife, Cayla, said in an earlier interview.

Last Wednesday Carlson went to the McGregor Police Department and submitted to a non-custodial interview, the affidavit says.

“Carlson stated that after she saw the news about the fatality, she realized she had struck Kayn Kemp,” the affidavit said.

She told police she was driving from Belton to Crawford to visit a friend at the time of the accident.

“Carlson stated shortly after she entered McGregor, her attention was diverted from the road as she was attempting to plug in her cell phone,” the affidavit said.

“Carlson stated she struck what she thought was a mailbox, however did not stop to investigate.”

Investigators recovered several white plastic pieces that appeared to be from a bumper along with parts of a headlamp assembly and using a parts number found on one of the pieces were able to determine the vehicle that struck him was a 2004 to 2008 Ford F-150.

After Carlson’s interview, they impounded her white 2005 Ford F-150 and compared the pieces recovered at the scene to damage on the truck’s front passenger side and determined that “several of the pieces recovered from the crime scene…were a perfect match.”

Temple police took Carlson into custody late Thursday afternoon.

She was booked into the Bell County Jail before 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police earlier said they expected her to turn herself in.

Kemp was laid to rest Thursday afternoon following a service at the First Assembly of God Church in Moody.

He’s survived by his wife and two sons.

A UMHB spokesman confirmed that Carlson is a student, but declined to provide additional information.

She was a member of the university's soccer team during her freshman year in 2015 and her team biography says she was a two-time all-district soccer player at Temple High School and a National Honor Society member who was majoring in nursing.