A Memphis man was struck and killed when he stepped into traffic Wednesday night along eastbound Interstate 24 near the Bell Road exit.
Police said the 39-year-old man, identified as Richard H. Blow, was hit by three vehicles after his truck broke down around 11:15 p.m.
Lizzie Keiper, a student at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, said she was leaving Nashville and traveling east on I-24 near Bell Road when she saw something strange ahead.
"I see a shadow figure. I go, 'That's a guy!' I yell it out in my car," Keiper said. "I can only imagine what those people are going through. He was in the middle. I couldn't help but blame myself if I was the one who hit him."
Police said Blow's truck had broken down on the side of the road, but it's unclear where he was going.
The eastbound lanes were shut down as police investigated, and they reopened by 5:20 a.m.
Officials say there are several critical things to remember if your car breaks down. First, stay put if you can.
"Stay in your vehicle. Call police if you can't get the vehicle off the roadway," said Metro police Capt. Kenneth Walburn.
Walburn said if a tire is flat, try to "limp" the vehicle to a safe place.
"The best thing to do, ultimately, is to get yourself off the interstate - even if you have a flat tire, even if you have to drive on a flat tire for a little bit," he said.
But police say never try to cross four lanes of interstate on-foot at night.
"I was so sad to hear this morning he had died," Keiper said.
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