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Truck Jumps Curb, Kills Pedestrian

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An off-duty city bus driver struck and killed a 22-year-old pedestrian on a sidewalk with his pickup truck in Nob Hill on Tuesday morning, police said.

Witnesses told police the driver of the truck, 42-year-old Stephen Whitaker, had been “acting erratically” prior to the incident, according to a police report.

Whitaker was detained in handcuffs for a short time after police arrived on the scene, and he agreed to take field sobriety tests and breath and blood tests, according to police reports.

Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Tasia Martinez said Whitaker was not arrested, and investigators believe there is a “distinct possibility that he suffered some sort of medical episode” prior to striking the pedestrian.

The pedestrian was not named.

Police were called to the area of Princeton and Silver SE shortly before 11:30 a.m., according to police reports. They found the pedestrian on the sidewalk with severe injuries.

Nearby on the sidewalk was Whitaker’s truck, according to the police reports.

The pedestrian was rushed to University of New Mexico Hospital, where he later died from his injuries, the reports state.

Witnesses told investigators Whitaker’s truck had jumped a curb before striking the pedestrian, who was walking eastbound alongside Silver Avenue, police said.

Martinez said Whitaker was “visibly upset” when officers arrived, and he cooperated with investigators.

“The cause of this crash is still under investigation, including the possibility that the driver suffered from a medical episode prior to the crash,” the police reports state.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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