Early Thursday, just as the morning commute was getting underway, a woman was hit by multiple cars and killed when she ran into oncoming traffic on I-75 North near Cleveland Avenue.
For more than three hours, from 5 a.m. until just before 8:15 a.m., the interstate was closed as authorities investigated a scene that Atlanta police Capt. Andrew Senzer said spanned “several lanes.”
Drivers heading into downtown Atlanta from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the southern suburbs had to find alternate routes to avoid the backups. At one point, traffic was diverted off the interstate onto Cleveland Avenue.
According to police, it is not yet known how many cars hit the woman, who has not been identified. Several stopped on the side of the interstate. The drivers were cooperating with police.
Though the incident is not being investigated as a hit-and-run, the police department’s hit-and-run unit responded to help, Senzer said.
“We also have secondary accidents as well, people trying to avoid what was going on with the initial incident,” he said.
However, no other injuries have been reported.
Two major studies released this spring indicate pedestrian crash deaths continue to climb nationwide.
In 2017, 260 pedestrians were killed on Georgia roads, up from 232 in 2016. And the 260 deaths last year was double the number killed in 2011, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Nationally, pedestrian crash deaths have increased 46 percent since their low point in 2009 and account for 16 percent of crash fatalities, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
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