(ANDREW COUNTY, Mo.) A man walking in the middle of the roadway was killed Thursday night after being struck by a semi on Interstate 29.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol, the driver of the semi-truck was heading south on I-29 near exit 51 when the walker was hit.
The driver stopped just a short distance from where the incident happened and called 911. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Sgt. Jake Angle, a spokesman MSHP Troop H, said troopers are working to locate the man's family to notify next of kin about the incident.
The Trooper's initial investigation found the man had been walking inside the interstate lanes. As of Friday, Sgt. Angle said it's not uncommon for people walking along roadways to be hit by drivers but it is unusual that he was walking in the middle of the road.
"We are still investigating, but I can imagine, it's harder to see at night and no driver expects a person is walking in traffic," Angle said.
Earlier this year, national crash data showed pedestrian deaths in the U.S. had hit a 3-decade high in 2018. More than 6,200 people had been killed while walking along roadways. Most of the deaths happened at night.
Although this pedestrian death is not like all the others, Sgt. Angle said there are things any walker or biker can do to reduce the risk of getting hit by a car.
"If you are walking on or near any roadway, it's good to have on some kind of bright or reflective clothing on," Angle said. "You want to stay as far away from the traveling part as possible. If there's a shoulder get as far to the right as possible."
The walker's name has not been released to the public and the investigation is ongoing.