Mystery still surrounds apparent highway suicide

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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Investigators still have more questions than answers in the death of a man on Texas 114 near Rhome early Monday morning.

About 5:30 a.m. a Chaney truck was westbound on the highway just past the Shale Creek subdivision when it struck a man in the roadway.

Fatal Accident

FATAL INCIDENT – A man’s hat lies on the roadside after he was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler early Monday morning on Texas 114. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Department of Public Safety began investigating the incident as a motor vehicle accident, but late Monday afternoon Sgt. Lloyd McKinney said it appeared to be a suicide, at which time they turned the case over to the Wise County Sheriff’s Department.

An autopsy was conducted on the man by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner Tuesday to identify him and determine cause of death. Sheriff David Walker said the body had knife wounds on the chest, but they appeared to be self-inflicted.

“The stab wounds were non-life threatening and consistent with self-inflicted,” Walker said at the conclusion of the autopsy. “(The autopsy revealed) he died from injuries due to being struck by the truck.”

The truck driver told investigators that the man jumped in front of her.

“She would have taken evasive action if she could have,” the sheriff said.

An abandoned vehicle was also found 1.2 miles east of the accident scene, and Walker said it is registered to someone in Dallas. He does not believe the owner of the vehicle is the deceased man, who has been tentatively identified, but the name not released. Walker said the car is likely related to the incident though.

“It’s still being investigated as a questionable death,” he said. “It appears to be a suicide, but the knife wounds just raised a lot of questions.”

Traffic on 114 Monday was reduced to one lane for at least two hours and periodically throughout the day while investigators pored over the scene.

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