An Indianapolis man walking in the right lane of northbound Interstate 65 about 2:30 a.m. Monday was impaired from drugs when he was struck and killed by a semi-trailer, the county coroner said.
Paul McGuire, 42, was struck about one mile north of the State Road 46 interchange, said Maj. Todd Noblitt, chief deputy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.
The man died immediately of massive trauma to his entire body, County Coroner Larry Fisher said.
Toxicology tests on McGuire came back positive for several different drugs, Fisher said, indicating the victim was impaired. Tests have been sent to the laboratory to quantify how much of each drug was in his body, Fisher said.
Alcohol was not a factor in McGuire’s death, however, the coroner said.
Dwayne Smotherman, 44, of Indianapolis, who drives a truck for the Target Corp.
retail chain, said that by the time he saw McGuire directly in his path in the right lane, he was unable to avoid hitting him, Noblitt said.
Investigators learned that McGuire was picked up an hour before the accident by the Columbus Police Department as he was walking along I-65 near the Walesboro-Ogilville exit, five miles south of where he was struck, Noblitt said.
City officers drove McGuire to a hotel off Jonathan Moore Pike, one mile south of the accident scene and instructed him to use a telephone to arrange a ride home, Noblitt said.
“Apparently, he did not stay there,” Noblitt said. “We know ‘what’ happened, but we just don’t know ‘why.’”
Smotherman will undergo toxicology tests, but investigators don’t believe he was impaired when the accident occurred, Noblitt said.
A number of witnesses, as well as people who knew McGuire, will be questioned, Noblitt said.
I-65’s northbound lanes were closed about 2½ hours after the accident.