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Pedestrian Killed on Highway

Arthur Muniz, 63, of Soquel, was killed in an early morning crash Wednesday,

Update 12:28 p.m.: The road has been cleared from this morning's fatal accident. Sheriff's Deputy April Skalland has told Patch that the incident has not officially been ruled a suicide, and that is is "still under investigation."

Update 11:21 p.m.: Northbound traffic on Highway 1 is still flowing slowly from State Park Dr to 41st Avenue, but is no longer at a standstill following this morning's fatality. However, it is heavier from 41st Avenue to Morrissey, as it has been since highway construction started.

Original Report: Highway 1 traffic is at a halt Wednesday morning due to a fatal crash that occurred just before 8 a.m.

According to emergency radio traffic, a vehicle struck a pedestrian in the northbound lane just south of Park Avenue.

"A guy ran out from the bushes on the side of the highway and was hit," Central Fire Spokesman Mike DeMars told Patch.

One dispatcher said that a witness called the incident a "possible suicide attempt."

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that according to witnesses, "the man jumped in front of a truck traveling in the righthand lane. Drivers were swerving around the body to avoid hitting it."

The victim was dead when emergency personnel arrived. The Central Fire crew was called off before they even got on scene because of the "obvious fatality," DeMars said.

CHP, Central Fire and the Sheriff's Office have yet to reveal the details of the incident, but the Sheriff's Office has confirmed the fatality.

Stay tuned to Patch as more information, including traffic updates, becomes available. You can also see our live traffic map to stay up-to-date.

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Kinyl June 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM
"Drivers were swerving around the body to avoid hitting it." Did the person who hit it stop? Why wasn't traffic stopped, instead of drivers "swerving around the body?" I'm sorry, but if I saw a person in the middle of the roadway, I wouldn't swerve around him as though he were roadkill, but I would stop. Are people so desensitized nowadays that a dead body in the roadway is nothing more than an irritating obstruction?
Jacob Bourne (Editor) June 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I would guess that that was the scene right after the accident — that the swerving was the initial reaction of everyone avoiding further accidents. Just my guess though. And traffic did quickly come to a complete stop. Point taken though.
Always Question June 20, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Disturbing story. Not enough detail here. Did the truck which hit the victim stop? Was he attempting to dash across the highway (which makes no sense during rush hour traffic) and mis-judged? Seems that "attempted suicide" should read "suicide." How old a man? What ethnic group? Did he appear homeless? Guess the medical examiner's report will tell if he was high on drugs or alcohol and could possibly have been hallucinating. I live near where this happened, and it's very chilling to hear this. And it's very disturbing that drivers just wheeled around him, too.
Pamela June 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM
its always easier to say what should have been after the fact, truth is everyone reacts differently in horrific situations like this one. my prayers are with everyone who witnessed this tragic accident.
Rosemary Anderson June 21, 2012 at 03:10 AM
unless you travel that road every day it is hard to imagine NOT swerving around anything in the roadway - it was sudden, totally unexpected and disturbing that a person would be running into morning rush hour traffic, and yes, the truck who hit him stopped (the driver must be traumatized) as did others. Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt before rushing to judgement or making assumptions.
Kinyl June 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM
To Rosemary Anderson and Pamela, as well as others who have read my post. I do travel that road every day, and I have swerved around objects in the road. The last object anyone would expect is a human body, so I apologize for my first reaction. Yes, I can imagine the driver of the truck that hit him must be tramatized. It was probably all he could do to leave, when he was released. The evening news did not give much detail at all. In fact, it was just a blip. Of course, probably not much detail was known/released then.
Josiewales June 21, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I was there as well, and I swerved. I saw what ended up being his shoe and thought it was a piece of a car bumper or side mirror, it all happened so fast and I was horrified when I realized it was not a blanket in the road but actually a person. At that point there were 4 or 5 cars on the side of the road and people running and shouting into phones to who I presumed was 911. At that point you are faced with , " should I stop and call too or get the hell out of their way?"... It must have been so awful for that truck driver (who was pulled over), I saw his face, drained of all color, as he spoke into his phone. This was a terrible way to start the day and I am sure this haunted everyone who was there, I know I cannot shake it. The incident definitely put everything into perspective pretty quickly. I am so sorry for this poor man and his family, as well the driver of the truck. Kudos to the brave women on the side of the road who reacted instantly and did stop to help, you are wonderful.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Very well put. Thanks for sharing your story Josiewales.
Peking June 21, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Very well said, Josiewales.
Pamela June 22, 2012 at 06:43 PM
hey kinyl, i appreciate your second post. thanks
gail wingert June 23, 2012 at 01:52 AM
If this is a suicide I think that's a very selfish way to do it. Kind of like that lady who jumped off the overpass last year. I feel bad for these people that they feel so bad, but to inflict pain on others to end their own? That poor truck driver will have to live with the fact that he hit and killed someone in a way that they could see clearly there was no saving him. Not even a trip to the hospital. Oftentimes this means decapitation, brain matter showing or some other very obvious thing that no one ever wants to see.

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