highway 1 freedom boulevard fatal crash caltrans california highway patrol
The California Highway Patrol and a crew from Caltrans shut down one southbound lane of Highway 1 just south of Freedom Boulevard early Thursday morning where a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car traveling at freeway speed. Photo: Tarmo Hannula /The Pajaronian

APTOS—A man was struck and killed by an SUV early Thursday morning on Highway 1 in Aptos.

California Highway Patrol Officer Alyssa Gutierrez said the victim was wandering around the southbound lanes on foot around 6:20am when he was struck by a Honda CRV driven by a woman south of Freedom Boulevard.

The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene, said CHP officer Sam Courtney.

Meanwhile, traffic quickly backed up on the highway in both directions, clogging the morning commute. Traffic then spilled onto area surface roads, jamming sections of Freedom Boulevard, Buena Vista Drive, Larkin Valley Road and Bonita Drive. The CHP, with the help of a crew from Caltrans, closed one southbound lane of Highway 1 and the onramp to the same lane from Freedom Boulevard until 8:50am to allow for the investigation and the Sheriff’s coroner unit to arrive.

Gutierrez said it is unknown if drugs/and or alcohol are a factor in the incident.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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