A Los Angeles man who was struck and killed after reportedly walking across several lanes of the Ventura (134) Freeway early Tuesday morning has been identified, but officials have not released his name because he is homeless and his family has not been identified.
“He has been identified,” Los Angeles County Chief Coroner Investigator and Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said. Harvey added that because the man was indigent, it has been difficult to track down next of kin.
The man, 39, was fatally struck by several cars, forcing lane closures and snarling traffic from about 5 a.m. to almost 9 a.m., the California Highway Patrol said.
The man had apparently just completed crossing the eastbound lanes, and was attempting to cross the westbound lanes when he was struck in the number three and number four lanes near Bob Hope Drive, CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene after CHP responded to calls shortly before 5 a.m. All westbound lanes were closed for 40 minutes, Villalobos said, before authorities were able to reopen the two left lanes. The scene was cleared at about 8:40 a.m., he said.
There did not appear to be a disabled vehicle near the fatal accident, and investigators were trying to determine how or why the man was on the freeway.
The patchy and sometimes dense early morning fog had reduced visibility, which was about 50 feet that morning, according to a statement from the CHP.
“The drivers of the vehicles that struck [the man] were unable to avoid hitting him and he suffered fatal injuries at the collision scene,” the statement said.
It was unknown whether the man “was in a car and came out of it, or if it was a disabled vehicle, or if he walked on, or was dropped off,” Villalobos said.
-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News
Photo: The body of a 39-year-old Los Angeles man was picked up by L.A. County Coroner investigators after the pedestrian was struck and killed by two or three vehicles, according to CHP officer Kevin Denmon, westbound on the Ventura (134) Freeway, west of Buena Vista in Burbank in Tuesday morning, November 1, 2011. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)