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Pedestrian killed by street sweeper in Durham

Posted October 13, 2015
Updated October 14, 2015

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— A 25-year-old man died early Tuesday after being hit by a street sweeper on U.S. Highway 15/501 in Durham, police said.

The 2009 Isuzu street sweeper was southbound on U.S. 15/501 just south of the N.C. Highway 751 exit shortly after 3 a.m. when Justin Radtke, of Durham, ran from the median into the travel lane, according to investigators.

"Some guy just ran out in front of my truck," driver Kelvin Britton told a 911 dispatcher. "Somebody ran into the highway and jumped in front of my truck. ... I never saw the guy."

About five minutes earlier, another driver called 911 to report that a man was running onto the highway near Cornwallis Road.

"Somebody keeps running from the bushes. ... He just run across my car," the caller said, noting that a car was parked on the shoulder that might have provided the man cover between trips onto the roadway. "He just comes out of nowhere."

The street sweeper is owned by Carolina Sweepers of Cary and wasn't sweeping at the time, police said.

Britton, 41, of Raleigh, and a passenger in the vehicle, Benjamin Viciente, 29, of Durham, were not injured.

The accident remains under investigation, but no charges are pending, police said.

The southbound lanes of U.S. 15/501 between the N.C. 751 and Cornwallis Road exits were shut down for more than two hours.

2 Comments

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  • Real Libertine Oct 13, 2015
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    Darwinism in action.

  • Sarcoi Dosis Oct 13, 2015
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    I'm Only speculating here, but it hard to miss a Street Sweeper in action. They are SLOW Moving, Noisy, and usually have flashing lights while operating.

    Unless of course, if it wasn't in the process of actively sweeping streets, then I guess it's just like any other commercial truck on the road.

    People walking in Median always make me very nervous. I have to wonder if they are legitimately attempting to cross the road, or if they are waiting for a big truck to jump under. (An acquaintance of ours did just this to end her life).