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I-45 shut down after fatal big rig accident

TEXAS CITY — A pedestrian wearing a batter’s helmet was struck and killed Wednesday while trying to cross the freeway, and authorities need the public’s help to identify him.

The man was white, in his 20s or 30s, weighed 166 pounds and wore a red Under Armor batting helmet. He was walking west across the north lanes of Interstate 45 just north of FM 1764 when he was struck by a tractor-trailer about 11 a.m., said John Florence, a spokesman with the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The man likely died of blunt-force trauma, but the manner of his death remained unclear pending further investigation, Florence said.

The truck driver told a trooper with the Department of Public Safety that the incident happened quickly. When the driver looked up, the man was in front of the 18-wheeler, trooper Matt Leighton said.

The man was taken to Mainland Medical Center in Texas City where he was pronounced dead about 11:30 a.m., Florence said.

The incident forced authorities to close the northbound lanes of the freeway, which reopened at 1:20 p.m.

The pedestrian had no identification. He had brown eyes and short, dark-brown hair with a receding hairline. He wore a black T-shirt, blue jeans, blue boxer briefs and black socks and had no tattoos.

Florence said he would attempt today to identify the man by his fingerprints. Florence asked anyone who might know the man’s identity to call the medical examiner’s office at 409-935-9274.

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