Man dies trying to cross I-35

Chris Arnold says there was no reason his friend would normally try to cross Interstate-35.

“I've never known him to be like this. We've been good friends for so long,” said Arnold.

Austin police say the unidentified man in his 40's was trying to cross east and to west road when a white pickup truck carrying a trailer hit and killed him. Chris Arnold says he knows it was his friend.

“I had just talked to him no more than an hour prior. We switched corners and he walked down under the bridge,” said Arnold.

Traffic was shut down at I-35 NB at Oltorf while officers investigated. Police say the driver was not speeding or drunk and the person did stop.  This is the ninth auto-pedestrian fatality on I-35 this year, four of the accidents were in November alone.

“It's decisions they're making. They're making bad judgments attempting to cross I-35. That's one thing we keep putting out there is, you have crosswalks and overpasses, use them. Quit trying to cross I-35,” said Cpl. Chad Martinka, Austin Police Department.

The Austin Police Department offers victim services for drivers who hit pedestrians. They say the ones involved often use the service.

“We see a wide range of emotions that flow through the people who were involved in the accident, the people who witnessed the accident,” said Captain Darren Noak with Austin/Travis County EMS.

The deadly month of November has investigators wondering why someone would think they could beat traffic. They encourage any driver, if involved in one of these incidents to reach out for help.

“We would highly encourage someone to seek out those counseling opportunities to help them get through that traumatic event,” said Noak.

Some homeless have been involved in this accidents this year, but police say the crashes extend to other populations as well. Chris Arnold is still in shock his friend is gone.

“He's just never seem like he'd do that,” said Arnold.

This marks the 72nd overall traffic death on Austin streets. An auto-pedestrian accident occurring on the same day brings that number to 73. Last year, TX-DOT launched their “End the Streak” campaign, to end the streak of deaths on Texas highways.

So far, this year has been less deadly in the Austin area. Last year, we reached more than 100 deaths. 

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