Troopers say 60-year-old Melinda Grossman of Chapel Hill was killed while trying to help an injured cat.
The good samaritan is being mourned by pet owners and by people who live in the area where she was hit.
Troopers told ABC11 Eyewitness News that Saturday evening Grossman stopped her car and got out to help an injured cat. She was in the road when another car hit her.
There is no traffic light at the intersection, and the road only has two lanes with a small shoulder. As a result, there is very little room to run.
Troopers say the small shoulder may have left no time for Grossman to get out of the path of the oncoming car.
Lucy Harber is a dog owner who lives in the area. She says she can understand why someone might attempt a rescue at the intersection.
"You do it because you figure it's probably somebody's pet, and I would hope that if something happened to my animal somebody else would stop and help too," Harber said.
Harber has a different outlook now after seeing the flashing lights of first responders who rushed to the scene Saturday night.
"I think it'll remind me that I need to be careful of traffic because not everybody is willing to stop in the road for an injured animal as some people might be," she said.
She says she'll keep walking her dog on the intersection, hoping the fatal wreck is a reminder for everyone.
"Be careful yourself in the process of trying to help our feathered and furry friends," Harber said.
The Highway Patrol has not filed charges against the driver who hit Grossman.