Driver tells police pedestrian who was hit and killed ‘came out of nowhere’

Madison police say the driver who hit and killed a pedestrian on East Washington Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Thursday was not impaired and was going the speed limit.

An update to the police incident report said the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk and ran in front of the car.

The driver is being cooperative and told investigators the man, who was in his 30s, “came out of nowhere.”

“Suddenly, a pedestrian ran in front of his car. He said he never saw him until there was a collision. He stopped immediately. He’s been very helpful with us in terms of the investigation,” said Madison police public information officer Joel DeSpain.

Several passersby attempted lifesaving measures, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Driver Phil Ivey was a few cars behind the crash. He said seeing the victim’s body lying on the median was a “traumatic experience.” He tried to help but felt that the man had no pulse.

“It just happened so fast. Life goes so fast, you can be gone in a second,” said Ivey.

Ivey, who drives across the Madison area for both of his jobs, said he often sees close calls with pedestrians where they assume they have the right of way.

“Even in crosswalks, they think they can walk right in front of traffic. And I’ve seen several cars, including myself, just slam the brakes because they’re stepping right in front. They can’t do that,” said Ivey.

He hopes people can learn from this tragedy.

“Hug your loved ones and never hold a grudge – never – because you just don’t know how fast life is gone,” said Ivey.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

DeSpain said police don’t plan to cite or charge the driver at this point in the investigation. They are still waiting on results from a blood test to make sure he wasn’t impaired.

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