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A woman walking on westbound Interstate 10 near Seventh Street in Phoenix was hit and killed by a delivery truck, causing a traffic backup for miles.
The woman, whose identity is not known, was attempting to cross I-10 when she was hit by a box truck about 4:45 a.m., said Officer Bill Westsik of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Westsik said there were no stranded vehicles in the area and "all we know is that she was crossing the roadway." A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Public Safety said it appeared the woman did not have a stranded car anywhere.
Dragan Kartalija was driving the truck that struck the woman and said the volume of traffic at 5 a.m. was heavy and that the lights from the traffic made it difficult to see the woman.
He said he couldn't avoid hitting her because she was only about 20 feet away when he saw her and he was limited by a semi-truck that was next to him.
"I no have time for stop," he said. "There was a lot of traffic."
Westsik said that Kartalija was not going to be cited at this point and that he did everything right, and might have been the person who called and reported the incident.
Kartalija said he has been driving for 10 years and nothing like this has happened to him before. "I almost finish job," he said, adding he was heading to Tucson at the end of his run.
Westsik said signs are posted along the freeway that prohibits pedestrians and bicycles on the road and that the woman was breaking the law by crossing.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said only the HOV and far left lane remained open, and most westbound traffic was at a standstill and backed up for at least two miles.
The freeway was restricted to two lanes at the crash scene, and the blocked lanes include the westbound exit ramp at Seventh Street, according to an ADOT spokesman.
The road was reopened shortly after 7 a.m.
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