The Portland man struck by a truck on Interstate 5 early Monday died of severe blunt force trauma, but the manner of his death is undetermined, according to the Cowlitz County Coroner’s office.
Zeus Perez, 41, was standing in the freeway north of Woodland shortly after 2 a.m. Monday when he was hit by a tractor-trailer, but Washington State Patrol troopers said they did not know why Perez was standing there.
Phillip Reich, 47, of Covington was driving the tractor-trailer in the right lane when he saw the reflections of taillights of a blue Toyota Prius on the right shoulder, according to State Patrol Trooper Will Finn. Reich moved the rig into the center lane and struck something. Perez, the driver of the Prius, was apparently in the center lane of the freeway wearing dark clothing, Finn said. Perez was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were no other passengers or witnesses present.