Man trying to traverse Thruway with cart full of cans hit by truck and killed

Local News

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man was hit while crossing I-90 early Friday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene.

New York State Police said that Robert Greene, 74, was pushing a shopping cart full of cans and bottles in the center lane of the Thruway when he was hit by a pickup truck heading west.

A family member sent News 4 a photo of Greene and said he often collected cans, but it’s unclear why he was on the Thruway.

Thruway State Police say the driver of the GMC pickup which struck him is from Orchard Park, was not injured, was not impaired or speeding, and will not be charged.

“The investigation revealed that the driver attempted to stop but was unable to due to the speed and the visibility of the pedestrian at the time,” said Sgt. Steve Kosowski, New York State Police.

The crash occurred near the Walden Avenue exit (Exit 52) at around 3 a.m., and closed the west side of I-90 in that area for a number of hours.

A family member tells News 4 that Greene would often collect cans for money, but it was unclear why he ended up miles away from his Buffalo home on the Thruway in Cheektowaga.

“The Thruway is for vehicles only. Pedestrians have no business being out here,” according to Sgt. Kosowski. “We encourage anybody, if there is any type of collision, you are not allowed to get out of your car. Stay in your car. It’s the safest place, and if we do find a pedestrian on the Thruway, we have to remove them and sometimes they can be ticketed for being on the highway.”

The crash happened within sight of Galleria Drive, which provides a safe passage under the Thruway.

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