Pedestrian hit, killed on Highway 59

Walked in traffic, driver says; many cars struck victim

May 19, 2013 

— A 54-year-old pedestrian was killed Sunday morning after being struck by several vehicles on Highway 59 between Dickenson Ferry Road and Gerard Avenue near Merced, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The identity of the man hasn't been released, pending notification of his family.

The incident was reported about 5:05 a.m. just south of Merced.

According to the CHP, Timeteo Rios, 42, was driving a 1999 Honda Civic south on Highway 59, north of Mission Avenue, about 45 mph.

Rios told officers he saw the pedestrian walking east in the southbound lane, directly in front of Rios' vehicle. The driver tried to swerve, attempting to avoid hitting the man, according to officer Jason Schoonhoven.

The pedestrian tried to get out of the way, but Rios was unable to avoid hitting him.

The pedestrian was struck by the front of the Honda and thrown into the northbound lane of traffic. He then was struck by other vehicles heading north, Schoonhoven said.

Schoonhoven noted that some of the drivers involved in the incident pulled over, while others did not. He said some of those drivers may not have realized a person had been struck.

Rios and the passenger in his car received minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Traffic was closed on Highway 59 in both directions after the incident as CHP and rescue personnel worked at the crash site. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

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