Driver saw man waving down cars on I-70 just before he was struck and killed

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Two people were killed Wednesday night when they were hit while standing or walking along I-70 between 291 Hwy and Lee's Summit Road at about 11:30.

Police said the pedestrians were hit by multiple vehicles, including an Independence police car. Authorities are trying to determine why the pedestrians were walking on the interstate.

One witness said she was heading to work when she passed the scene.

"I first see a car pulled off to the side. It had flashers on. My first initial thought is someone is broken down," said Jessica, the witness.

She told FOX 4's Melissa Stern that she saw one of the victims standing in the road waving his hands.

"Right when I took my eyes off of seeing that person to look forward, the semi jerked its way fast straight into my lane and I veered off toward the guard rail," she recalled.

Jessica, 26, avoided hitting the guard rail and stopped her car, frazzled.

"I looked to the right outside of my window and I see a man laying on the ground and clearly he was gone. He was dead," she said. "The man was standing before the semi went past and all of a sudden he was on the ground, and since I wasn't on the right side I did not see the direct strike."

She says she thinks she saw the man before the semi-driver did.

She also said a police car was parked about 200 feet in front of her on the shoulder.

Tom Gentry, spokesperson for the Independence Police Dept. said the officer was driving eastbound on I-70 when he saw a car on the westbound side with flashers on. The officer got off onto 291, turned around and returned to the area of I-70, and as he was returning, he accidentally struck one of the victims.

Westbound I-70 traffic was closed for several hours but has since been reopened.

Police have not released the names of those killed pending family notification.

The investigation is ongoing and this is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.