An 18-year-old Fresno man was struck and killed by a big rig Monday morning on southbound Highway 99 in the Delhi area, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The Merced County coroner's office identified the victim as Maison Douglas Eckenrod.
The incident was reported about 4:20 a.m. near the Collier Road exit, according to officer Jason Schoonhoven, a CHP spokesman.
He said Eckenrod was driving a 1999 Isuzu Amigo south on the freeway at an unknown speed. The Isuzu veered to the right off the road, for unknown reasons, and crashed into a metal guardrail, Schoonhoven said.
The Isuzu overturned and came to rest blocking the slow lane. Eckenrod exited the vehicle and stood on the right shoulder of the road, just south of his vehicle, Schoonhoven said.
He said that about three minutes later, John Vanderveen, 30, of Tulare was driving a 2008 Peterbilt big rig pulling a cattle trailer, approaching the crash site.
Vanderveen observed debris in the road and began to move his truck to the left, into the fast lane.
According to Schoonhoven, as Vanderveen attempted to move into the fast lane, for unknown reasons Eckenrod ran from the shoulder into the roadway and directly into the path of the truck.
Schoonhoven said the big rig hit Eckenrod and his overturned Isuzu. Eckenrod sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the big rig wasn't hurt.
Southbound Highway 99 was closed for a short time after the incident.
The crash remains under investigation, according to the CHP.