Pedestrian killed on Interstate 8 identified

Posted at 9:52 AM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 13:39:01-04

Authorities Tuesday publicly identified an 83-year-old El Centro woman who was fatally struck by a box truck after walking onto Interstate 8 in the Lakeside area.

Maria Elena Dowden was seen standing by her vehicle on the side of the westbound freeway near Lake Jennings Park Road just before she stepped into oncoming traffic for unknown reasons around 3:45 p.m. Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol and the county Medical Examiner's Office.

One motorist was able to swerve to avoid Dowden, but the driver of the 2011 International box truck could not, according to CHP Officer Ben Demarest.

Dowden died at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The crash prompted authorities to temporarily close one westbound lane, according to the CHP.