There has been a spate of pedestrian deaths in Georgia, particularly along interstates. Last year, there were several highly publicized events where pedestrians walking along or attempting to cross interstates were killed. Some attribute these deaths to homelessness and mental illness, though one was a student at Georgia Tech. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports on a pedestrian accident that appears to have been a suicide.
The incident shut down the northbound lanes of Interstate 985 at the 85 split for several hours on Friday morning.
Police reports indicate that police received several 911 calls about a man who was struck on I-985 northbound at the overpass of Woodward Mill Road.
Michael Baessler, a 67-year-old Sugar Hill resident, got out of his car which had been parked at the side of the roadway. He then ran into oncoming traffic, where he was struck and killed. Police have preliminarily ruled the man’s death a suicide.
The driver of the tractor-trailer that struck Baessler said that he witnessed Baessler pull over to the right shoulder. The driver then moved into another lane, just before Baessler ran out in front of the tractor-trailer. The driver was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting Baessler.
The official cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office, which is investigating.
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