MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A pedestrian was struck and killed Friday morning while walking in traffic on I-65 in Maury County.
What lead up to the fatality is under investigation, but troopers representing the Lawrenceburg District where this happened say pedestrian deaths are becoming a trend that must be changed.
The fatality happened at the 45.4 mile marker just South of Bears Creek Pike in Columbia.
The driver, 36-year-old Malcolm Carruthers of Munford, Tennessee wrecked his car on the side of the interstate. Troopers say he got out of his car, and instead of walking the short distance back to a well-illuminated exit 46, he walked south into the darkness. Troopers say he was walking in the Interstate.
It was about 2:30 Friday morning that a Dodge Durango, driven by a 27-year-old Indiana man collided with the pedestrian. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.
“A vehicle, driving normal speed, came along and hit the individual,” Lt. Christopher Dye of the THP says.
According to the THP, Friday’s pedestrian fatality on I-65 is the 11th in the Lawrenceburg district this year.
Ten of the fatalities involved pedestrians. One involved a person riding a bicycle.
The majority of the deaths occurred in dark hours when visibility is limited.
One of those cases happened July 18 just outside of Pulaski in Giles County. Kevin Ward was walking home from a bar on Highway 31 and he was run over by three vehicles.
That case is still unsolved.
“If you look at it we have had 11 and 7 of those 11 happened after hours,” said Lt. Dye.
Lt Dye says both pedestrians and motorists can do more to avoid these tragedies.
“For pedestrians, wear some kind of bright clothing. You’d be surprised how many people wear completely black clothing. If you had a reflective vest or illumination like a flashlight, use it.”
He adds, “With the passage of the Tennessee hands-free law, we believe a lot of our crashes statewide and in this area are distractions and we are asking people to reduce those distractions inside vehicles. Put down those phones, it is illegal, you cannot have them in your hands. If we can reduce the distractions we have a strong opinion we will reduce the fatalities.”
The driver who struck the pedestrian stopped and is working with investigators. He is not facing any charges. At this time it is still not known why the man was walking in traffic.
Additionally, Lawrenceburg district has seen a spike in all driving-related fatalities, jumping from 39 last year to 70 already this year.