By Carlos Padilla
Emergency responders from Sierra and Doña Ana counties were dispatched to Interstate 25, near Milepost 51 early Monday morning, April 9, after multiple calls started pouring in to the local 911 call center just after 1:30 a.m. Some of the callers told Dispatch operators that they believed they had hit someone on the roadway, while others called to report a man lying in the southbound lanes of I-25.
Sierra County Sheriff’s Department officials shut down the southbound lanes and began interviewing drivers of a handful of vehicles who had pulled onto the shoulder of I-25, while EMS personnel from Sierra Vista Hospital Ambulance and Las Palomas Fire & Rescue were on scene.
“Witnesses stated that the man ran out in front of a tractor trailer for an unknown reason,” Lt. Robert McDonald, Public Information Officer with the New Mexico State Police, told The Herald late Monday morning. Lt. McDonald went on to say that the unidentified man’s pickup was parked on the west shoulder of the freeway, facing south.
“There was no damage to his truck,” Lt. McDonald stated.
The man’s wallet was located inside of his truck, which displayed Nevada tags.
The man had turned off the vehicle’s lights prior to running directly into the path of the semi tractor-trailer “pulling double,” or two trailers.
A number of witnesses and passers-by pulled of the Interstate and spoke with the first arriving law enforcement and EMS personnel.
The Sierra County Sheriff’s Department turned the investigation over to the New Mexico State Police in Las Cruces, Lt. McDonald stated.
State Police have requested that the identity of the driver not be released at this time, to ensure that law enforcement has ensured that next-of-kin has been properly notified.
Southbound I-25 was shut down to traffic at Exit 51 until about 4 a.m.
The immediate crime scene was contained to the area under the overpass, however the truck that the unidentified man stepped out in front of came to a stop about one-half-mile away. A passenger car that also struck the pedestrian was one of the several vehicles pulled off the Interstate.