City bus hits, kills man walking on 71 Highway at ‘odd’ location

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The northbound lanes of 71 Highway were closed for hours on Monday night after a KCATA bus hit and killed a man. Police got the call at about 7 p.m.

Police say two city buses were traveling northbound on 71 when a man crossed the highway between Gregory and Meyer.

That's when one of the buses hit him, killing him at the scene. FOX 4 spoke with a witness who said she believes he stepped into traffic intentionally. Because the investigation is ongoing, that is not something police confirmed for us at the scene, but it means the man was crossing in an odd spot.

“There's really not a natural break where he was trying to cross, he would have had to have jumped the fence to have gotten to where he was,” KCPD Sergeant Bill Mahoney said.  “He's trying to cross, but we assume that's because where he was in the roadway. But it's possible that he was walking at some point and drifted into a lane of traffic.

While police haven't identified the victim yet, the man's nephew says his name is Kenneth Cowans.

"I don't understand why he would try to cross the highway. I just seen him and he came to the house really drunk. He left, we got a call from the cops," Orlando Hinson told FOX 4's Mary Pulley at the scene.

Hinson said his uncle was a good man, the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He said that even if he didn't have anything but a dollar, he would give it to you. Police are still trying to figure out how the man got onto the highway.