Gallup Sun

Wednesday, Jun 20th

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Sudden death on a busy highway

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It happened almost in the blink of an eye, at 5:33 am Tuesday morning; an alert interstate trucker noticed a pedestrian on I-40 westbound near mile marker 20. With no warning the male walker moved into the right hand lane of traffic and continued into the left hand lane. The impact, with the semi-tractor and trailer moving at 65 mph was little more than a cloud of dust, as described by an eyewitness following behind the large truck.

“I saw his brake lights come on as the truck moved to the left lane,” said the witness from Florida, according to Gallup Police Officer Adrian Quetawki’s report. “… Then the brake lights came on again as the driver made this evasive maneuver. A cloud of dust at the point of impact blinded me for a couple of seconds and I think I ran over the pedestrian, too.”

The witness was later proved correct, though it made no difference to the victim. He was dead, another of the countless casualties nationwide that dare to challenge the steady stream of traffic criss-crossing highways.

Police arrived almost instantly and rerouted traffic to Highway 66. The personnel from the Office of the Medical Investigator arrived to take their measurements and fill out their forms. There was no identification on the deceased, not totally unusual, but disheartening to the family that may still be looking for their relative.

By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent