The Austin Police Department has successfully identified a man killed on a north Austin highway earlier this month.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours on Saturday, October 21st on Interstate 35 in north Austin, Texas.
According to KXAN News, a police officer responded to reports of a pedestrian walking along the concrete barrier on I 35 north near the 7400 block of the interstate.
The officer was pulled over onto the shoulder with his lights on in an attempt to speak with the suspect when the man suddenly ran onto the highway into the path of an oncoming semi truck.
The semi truck, which had moved into the far lane in order to give the stopped police car some room, was unable to avoid hitting the man and ran over him, killing him instantly.
The truck driver quickly came to a stop and cooperated with the investigation. Although it is not clear whether he was issued any citations for the incident, officers say that speed, lighting, and driver impairment were not factors in the crash.
The pedestrian has since been identified as 33-year-old Armando De La Cruz, but police are still investigating the incident.
Police have not determined whether this particular incident was intended to be a suicide, but suicide by truck is a serious issue that can deeply affect the life of the truck driver involved.
“I think about it every time I see someone walking on the side of the road,” said truck driver Jason Layne, who was involved in a suicide-by-truck incident several years ago.
“I wonder, ‘Is this person suicidal? Are they going to try to step in front of my truck?’” he continued in an interview with CDLLife.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help right away through one or more of these resources:
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, a spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
- Call a suicide hotline number — in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional.