Within 5 hours, 2 people die trying to cross I-20

More than five hours after a man was hit and killed trying to cross I-20 West, another pedestrian was killed on the same interstate, according to Atlanta police.

In the later accident, a man died trying to run across both sides of I-20 at Joseph E Lowery Boulevard about midnight.

The man’s name and other details have not been released. The driver who hit the man stopped, police said.

Earlier that same night, the interstate was shut down for at least two hours when a man was hit about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on I-20 at I-285. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Tommy Jerkins, 46, of Douglasville, died of generalized blunt force injury, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.

“The male began to walk across the interstate for some unknown reason,” Atlanta police Sgt. John Chafee told Channel 2. “He was struck by a vehicle who was unable to stop.”

Emergency crews shut down all westbound lanes of I-20 at I-285 after a man was hit by a car.

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Investigators told Channel 2 Action News the driver pulled over and was cooperating with investigators.

“At this point we do not anticipate charges,” Chafee said.

This is the fifth time in a week that a pedestrian was hit on a metro Atlanta interstate.

Three southbound drivers hit and critically injured a woman trying to cross the Downtown Connector just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Only one driver stayed on the scene near the University Avenue exit. That driver will not be charged, police said.

In another crash Friday, 19-year-old Kaden Campbell was struck and killed by an SUV while attempting to cross the same interstate.

And in yet another accident, James Ellis tried to cross I-20 near Panola Road and was hit by car Nov. 8, DeKalb police told Channel 2 Action News.

The recent surge prompted the Georgia Department of Transportation to release this statement:

"First and foremost, using the interstate as a pedestrian is a violation of state law. However, sometimes motorists involved in accidents become pedestrians when they exit the safety of their vehicles. If you are involved in an accident on the interstate, the safest thing to do is to remain in your vehicle, call 911 and 511, and await help from law enforcement, emergency personnel or GDOT HEROs."
— Staff writer Ellen Eldridge contributed to this article.