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Palm Beach County deputy fatally hits pedestrian crossing Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach

FHP: Deputy in marked patrol car strikes man, 21, running across highway
The Florida Highway Patrol responds to a fatal crash on Interstate 95 at Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach on July 29, 2022.jpg
Posted at 6:26 AM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 16:08:48-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy's vehicle struck and killed a man who was running across Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach early Friday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

All southbound lanes of I-95 at Okeechobee Boulevard have reopened after the fatal deputy-involved crash that snarled traffic in the downtown area for hours.

The FHP said a Palm Beach County deputy, 46, driving a marked patrol SUV hit a pedestrian who was running across I-95 about 5:45 a.m., killing the man.

According to troopers, the deputy was driving in the left HOV lane and not responding to any calls when the crash happened.

A fatal deputy-involved crash on Interstate 95 at Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach on July 29, 2022.jpg
A fatal deputy-involved crash on Interstate 95 at Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach on July 29, 2022.

An initial crash report from the FHP said the pedestrian, a 21-year-old man from Knoxville, Tennessee, ran across the southbound lanes of the interstate and the deputy "was unable to stop in time."

"I heard this big old thump. And I looked and there's these two sheriff's [deputies] down on the highway," said Clarence Richter, who witnessed the crash. "They were just stopping traffic all of a sudden."

All southbound lanes of I-95 were closed for hours Friday morning while the FHP investigated the crash. The lanes reopened just before 10 a.m.

"From where he was hit, he had to be in the road because he’s all the way in the middle of the highway by the divider that separates the north and south. He's laying over there," Richter said.

The name of the man who was hit and killed has not been released.