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Fatal I-79 accident being investigated as a suicide

October 11, 2018 News Extra

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A tractor-trailer hit an unidentified man on Interstate 79 Tuesday after the man ran onto the road and into the path of the truck, according to state police.

JACKSON TWP — An unidentified 39-year-old man died on Interstate 79 Tuesday morning after he ran across the road and into the path of a tractor trailer, according to state police. Police are investigating the death as a possible suicide.

At around 7:53 a.m., the truck was traveling northbound on Interstate 79 when a man ran across the road near the Evans City exit, colliding with the tractor trailer and sustaining massive injuries, state trooper Ron Kesten said.

The driver immediately called police to report the collision, and responders rushed to the scene to treat the man while troopers investigated the crash, reviewing footage from the truck's video camera.

“The footage clearly showed the truck driver did everything possible to avoid the collision with the pedestrian,” Kesten said. “He was in the slow lane, right hand lane. driving at a safe speed in the lane of travel. The pedestrian ran from the east side of the road directly into his path of travel.”

Footage showed the driver immediately slowed down and attempted to swerve but was unable to avoid hitting the man, Kesten said.

“Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to avoid the pedestrian,” he said.

Emergency responders flew the man via medical helicopter to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators have not released his name, pending an investigation.

The man's car was found parked nearby the scene of the crash.

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