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POLICE: Man found injured on road likely fell off moving rig while secretly hitching ride 


Police are still investigating the death of a man found injured on a roadway in Pennsylvania on Christmas Day. 

39-year-old Paul Donnelly was found injured near West Main Street and Martin Avenue in Ephrata, Pennsylvania before 12:30 a.m. on December 25th. 

According to Penn-Live Patriot News, Donnelly was seen lying in the road by a passing police officer, who stopped along with another passing driver to try to help the seriously injured man. EMS treated Donnelly at the scene but he soon succumbed to his injuries. 

A witness told police she was driving west in the 300 block of West Main Street behind a tractor trailer when a man seemed to suddenly appear on the road after the truck passed through an intersection at Martin Avenue. 

When questioned, the truck driver told police that he did not see or hear anything during his drive, and did not notice hitting anything or anyone. Investigators examined the semi truck and determined that there was no sign of a collision. The dash cam footage from the truck also showed no sign of pedestrians on the roadway, sidewalk, or side of the road as the truck moved through the intersection. 

Surveillance footage from a nearby building revealed a different angle of the intersection, but officers still found no evidence of a pedestrian in the area. The footage shows only the truck passing through a clear intersection and Donellely suddenly lying in the road. The police officer arrived at the scene less than a minute later. 

The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office determined that Donnelley died from blunt impact trauma, and ruled the death accidental. Based on the evidence, officers believe that Donnelly may have been secretly riding on the tractor trailer and either fell or jumped off, resulting in his injuries leading to death. 

Anyone who witnessed anything related to this case, or who might have relevant video footage from Dec. 25, between 12 a.m. and 12:40 a.m. in the area of West Main Street at Martin Avenue, or on West Main Street between the square and Martin Avenue, should contact Sgt. Matthew Randolph at 717-738-9200 ext. 221.


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