UPDATE, OCT. 7:
TDOT identified the worker who was killed in this accident as Trent Johnston, 33. Johnston was a bridge inspection supervisor who had been with the department since 2015. He was inspecting a bridge on I-55 when he was hit by a vehicle.
TDOT says this was the first death of a worker since 2016.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A worker with the Tennessee Department of Transportation has died after being struck by a vehicle on Interstate 55.
Police said at 12:45 p.m., officers responded to reports of a pedestrian struck in the northbound lanes of I-55 near I-240.
The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.
Friday afternoon, TDOT released a statement confirming a TDOT worker was killed. TDOT says the employee was inspecting the bridge when an oncoming vehicle hit him.
Jeania Daugherty witnessed the crash.
“He was on the left-hand side trying to cross the street, and he saw there wasn’t no one in that lane that he was coming from and tried to merge all the way over to the next lane,” Daugherty said. “And as people were slowing, it was a car that was approaching, and as the car was approaching it was too late to stop.”
Lanes of I-55 northbound were closed while police investigated. Daugherty said the accident could have been prevented.
“TDOT should have had someone having a TDOT sign to let everybody know to merge over to the right lane,” Daugherty said.
MPD did not say if the driver remained on the scene, but WREG did see this black SUV being towed away from the scene.
At this time, it’s unknown if anyone will face charges.
“I’m just praying for his family and the people that did it,” Daugherty said. “I just hope that they not traumatized about what went on.”