UPDATE: The man who died has since been identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office as 38-year-old Lucas Justice.
HARRISON TWP., Ohio (WDTN) — One person is dead after a pedestrian strike on I-75 South in Harrison Township.
The crash occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 6 in the southbound lanes of I-75 near Needmore Road. Lanes were shut down for several hours.
Authorities reported that they received calls about someone acting strangely on the highway around 2 a.m. Minutes later, callers said the man was lying in the middle of the road.
“Yeah, he’s down. Like I just almost wrecked my car just to miss him. He’s right in the middle lane,” said a 911 caller.
It was soon after that the man was hit by a box truck followed by two other vehicles.
Authorities arrived and pronounced the man dead on the scene.
Sheriff Rob Streck says these crashes underline the importance of both driving and pedestrian safety. He says people should always be aware when crossing a street, and you should never try to walk across an interstate.
“You know, those roads are busy. So, trying to cross one of those highways on foot is just never a good idea and the odds of doing it safely are pretty slim,” said Streck.
Streck also says these incidents are becoming more common in the county. To address this issue, Streck says his deputies do regular traffic blitzes across the county, stopping drivers who are speeding or distracted.
“We’re doing that as much as we can right now just to try to slow people down and get them paying more attention,” said Streck.
Areas with heavy construction and high speeds are especially dangerous for officers patrolling on the interstate, an issue the county is working to address.
“So, the hard part there is it’s really hard to do enforcement without putting my deputies in grave danger or putting the individuals just driving in danger,” said Streck.
According to Streck, 40 pedestrians have been involved in crashes so far this year. That’s up compared to 34 over the same time last year. Officials believe aggressive and distracted driving are partly to blame.
All involved vehicles remained on the scene to cooperate with investigators.
Investigators are still working to figure out exactly what led to the crash.