Police investigating I-5 pedestrian death

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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Even though they do not anticipate filing criminal charges, Washington State Patrol detectives continue to investigate a fatal pedestrian crash that happened early Monday morning.

Zeus Perez, 41, of Portland was reportedly in the center of the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Woodland at about 2 a.m. Monday when he was struck by a tractor-trailer, according to State Patrol Trooper Will Finn. Perez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Phillip Reich, 47, of Covington was driving the tractor-trailer in the right lane when he noticed taillight reflections from a blue Toyota Prius on the right shoulder, Finn said. He moved the rig into the center lane and struck Perez, who was wearing dark clothing, Finn said.

“It’s unknown why Mr. Perez was standing in the center lane when he was struck,” Finn said. The state patrol is working with the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office to investigate Perez’s death.

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