Barleywine Gutenbiere D'Greenman (alembicresearch) wrote,
Barleywine Gutenbiere D'Greenman
alembicresearch

How not to hitch-hike ...

Or gruesome SF bay area story of the week ...
or another story on evolution in action ...
or how to mess up a bunch of other people's commute to work ...


Body struck repeatedly on I-880 identified as Berkeley hitchhiker

(10-13) 04:00 PDT Hayward -- The man found dead after being hit on Interstate 880 in Hayward was identified Friday as a hitchhiker from Berkeley who secretly clung to the bottom of a truck for 20 miles before losing his grip, falling to the freeway and being struck by numerous cars, authorities said.

David Connolly, 37, walked up to a truck parked off Interstate 80 in Berkeley before dawn Thursday and, in Spanish, asked the driver for a ride, said California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Davis.

The truck driver, who had been sleeping, told authorities he was uncomfortable with the idea and told Connolly no. When Connolly insisted and tried to open the truck door, the driver blocked him and started to drive away.

Without the driver's knowledge, however, Connolly had somehow climbed underneath the truck and hidden himself in a space above the driveshaft, Davis said. Near the A Street exit on I-880 in Hayward, Connolly apparently lost his grip.

It was unclear whether Connolly let go because the truck hit a bump, if he passed out from fumes or fell asleep. It is also not known whether he died as a result of falling to the freeway or from being hit by many cars, Davis said.

Asked how Connolly could have hung on in such a fashion, Davis said, "For dear life."

Authorities reached their conclusion after the truck driver came forward. He had seen news reports about the death and found bits of clothing and remains under his truck, Davis said.

The space between the bottom of the truck and the ground measured 44 inches, which was enough to provide clearance for someone, Davis said.

Connolly's remains were strewn across five lanes and 1,000 feet of highway, and the CHP reported receiving about 80 phone calls from witnesses or drivers who had hair or blood on their cars.

The southbound freeway was shut down for more than two hours.

The Alameda County coroner's office used Connolly's fingerprints to identify him.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page B - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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