Alaska Airlines pilot found dead off freeway in Burbank

BURBANK, Calif. - A 55-year-old man found dead on the Scott Road offramp of the southbound Golden State (5) Freeway in Burbank was a pilot for Alaska Airlines, authorities said Wednesday.

An autopsy was pending to determine the cause of death of Lee Clifford Morris of Richland, Wash., said Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Burbank Fire Department paramedics were dispatched at 5:55 p.m. Tuesday in response to a call of a man down and found the body, Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Morris, who was a highly respected pilot and a 26-year veteran at Alaska," said Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines' vice president of flight operations. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lee's fiancee and other loved ones. He will be greatly missed by his fellow pilots and all employees at Alaska."

Burbank police said there was no obvious cause of death, and that Morris was in civilian clothes.

Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious on the offramp between midnight and 6 p.m. Tuesday was asked to call Burbank police at (818) 238-3210.

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