5 pedestrians hit on interstate in just one week

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Within five hours, two people have died walking on the interstate.

The first incident happened around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday where police told Channel 2 Action News a driver was hit by another person on a local interstate, killing the man.

The westbound lanes of Interstate 20 near Interstate 285 were shut down for at least two hours Wednesday night causing a massive backup as police investigated the deadly pedestrian accident.

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A man in his 40s was killed after being hit on the highway in the westbound lanes.

"The male began to walk across the interstate for some unknown reason. He was struck by a vehicle who was unable to stop," Sgt. John Chafee with the Atlanta Police Department told Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez.

They said the victim was attempting to cross the interstate when he was struck by a van.

Medics rushed the man to a nearby hospital, but he later died of his injuries.


Investigators told Jaquez that the driver pulled over and was cooperating with investigators.

“At this point we do not anticipate charges,” Chafee said.

This is the fifth time in a week that a similar incident has occurred on metro roadways.

The second incident within the five hours happened around midnight Thursday.

Officials tell Channel 2 Action News the crash happened on I-20 at Joseph Lowery. Police said he was crossing east to west. The driver who hit him stopped, police said.

Both incidents come less than 24 hours after a woman was hit multiple times trying to cross the downtown connector.

Over the weekend, a Georgia Tech student was killed trying to cross the connector near 17th Street.

DeKalb police said on Nov. 8, James Ellis tried to cross I-20 near Panola Road and was hit by car.

The Georgia Department of Transportation sent Channel 2 Action News a statement about the string of incidents, saying:

"Due to the tragic string of pedestrian fatalities on the interstate, we want to remind the traveling public of the dangers of being a pedestrian on the interstate.

"First and foremost, using the interstate as a pedestrian is a violation of state law. However, sometimes motorists involved in accidents become pedestrians when they exit the safety of their  vehicles.

"If you are involved in an accident on the interstate the safest thing to do is to remain in your vehicle, call 911 and 511, and await help from law enforcement , emergency personnel or GDOT HEROs.

"Exiting the safety  of your vehicle to check on damage or passengers in another car greatly increases your chance of serious injury or death." 

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