The California Highway Patrol is seeking the public’s help in trying to determine why a man was walking across the Ventura (134) Freeway early Tuesday before he was fatally hit by several cars, creating a gruesome scene that forced lane closures and snarled traffic.
The man, who authorities did not identify Tuesday, had apparently just completed crossing the eastbound lanes near Bob Hope Drive, and was attempting to cross the westbound lanes when he was struck, CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene after responding 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 until the scene was cleared at about 8:40 a.m.
There did not appear to be a disabled vehicle near the fatal accident, which was reported shortly before 5 a.m., so investigators were trying to determine how or why the man was on the freeway. They were relying on more witness accounts to fill in the blanks, although the patchy and sometimes dense early morning fog had reduced visibility.
As of Tuesday, 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.
The fog would also factor in to determine whether the drivers of the vehicles involved in the accident even saw the man, Villalobos said.
There was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved, although a toxicology reporting was pending, he added.
FOR THE RECORD: This corrects an earlier version that stated the man was identified.
Los Angeles County coroner’s officials did not release his identity Tuesday. The man was only described as being 30 to 40 years old.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Altadena CHP office at (626) 296-8100.