Police identify pedestrian struck by semi on I-70

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Indiana State Police has released the name of a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a semi tractor trailer on Interstate 70 Friday night.

The man has been preliminarily identified as 29-year-old Cecil W. Chilton of Terre Haute, according to a report by Trooper Richard Myers of the Putnamville Post.

He said confirmation of the man's identity will be made by the Morgan County Coroner's Office sometime week. The accident occurred at around 7 p.m. near the 56-mile marker in Morgan County.

According to Myers' report, the ISP Putnamville post began receiving telephone calls just before 7 p.m. from motorists reporting a man, dressed in dark clothing, walking along the side and in the driving lanes of the interstate.

ISP Trooper Kurt Steinkamp was dispatched to the area, but on his way, the post started receiving phone calls from motorists saying the man had been hit by a semi tractor trailer.

Upon arrival, Steinkamp found the man's remains and asked that the coroner be notified. Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy Kent Williams pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Chilton, according to Myers' report, was struck by a 2007 International tractor trailer driven by Tomas Chong of Brownsville, Texas. No charges are expected to be filed against Chong.

The reason why Chilton was walking on the interstate is not completely known.

"Since the time Mr. Chilton was struck and killed, continuing investigation has revealed Mr. Chilton was likely suffering from a pre-existing mental condition that diminished his capacity to comprehend the consequences of stepping into the travel lanes of the interstate," Myers reported.

"Neither foul play nor suicide is, at this time, believed to be an issue in this death investigation."

Steinkamp was assisted by the Hazelwood and Monroe Township fire departments and the Morgan County Emergency Management. Traffic was diverted onto U.S. 231 at Cloverdale for nearly two hours Friday evening while police investigated the accident scene.

Anyone with further information about the accident or who may have observed Chilton walking on the interstate is asked to contact Steinkamp at the Putnamville Post at 1-800-225-8576.

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