AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police are searching for a truck driver who fled after striking and killing a man in north Austin Thursday morning.
The crash happened at about 6:15 a.m. at the 8700 block of North Lamar Boulevard, about half a mile south of Rundberg Lane.
According to police, a dark blue or black pickup truck was traveling northbound on North Lamar Boulevard where it struck a pedestrian running towards a Capital Metro bus stopped at the Fairfield bus stop.
The victim, a man in 40s, was taken to the hospital, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
Joquin Damas, who works by the bus stop, heard the impact from the crash, walked outside and found the man’s body lying in the street.
“I feel bad,” Damas said, “and I’m going to say to that family that I’m so sorry for that. I’m feeling how you’re going to feel — real bad.”
Capital Metro confirmed that the bus driver and a few passengers saw the crash happen and talked to police about what they witnessed.
Police said the truck is a smaller sized pickup and will have clear damage on the passenger side above the headlight and on the side mirror.
Teresa Cox has lived in this area for more than 12 years. She said the man who died tried to cross this busy section of Lamar like she and many others do every day because the closest marked crosswalk is another 10-minute walk.
“Admittedly, just before you spoke to me, I jaywalked right across that street,” Cox said.
“I put myself at risk and the people on the streets at risk as well,” she said.
When asked why, she simply stated, “Convenience.”
“I’d like to think it would be a lesson learned,” Cox added, “but I can guarantee you that it won’t. We’ll keep doing it. It’s just the way the neighborhood works.”
Police are asking anyone with information on the crash or the pickup truck to come forward.
Updates to make crossing safer
The city of Austin said it shares the public’s concern for pedestrian crossing safety along North Lamar Boulevard, and that it is designing improvements as part of its Corridor Construction Program.
Below are a few projects it is currently working to design:
- New traffic signals with crosswalks or enhanced pedestrian crossings, including at Fairfield Drive and W. Powell Lane
- New pedestrian facilities at the U.S. Highway 183 bridge
The Corridor Program Office says the bulk of construction will happen between 2021 and 2024, although some could break ground before then.