A 53-year-old man was killed when he was hit by a driver in Lakewood on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

The man was walking on the Freedom Way overpass of Interstate 5 around 1:15 p.m. when the driver of a gold minivan allegedly struck him and drove off, the sheriff’s office said.

The driver and the victim possibly knew of each other from “living in the neighborhood” and had gotten into a disagreement sparked from an incident the day before, said sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Darren Moss, Jr. On Monday, the driver allegedly stole a couple lighters from a Chevron gas station on Union Avenue Southwest, he said.

The victim, who wasn’t at the gas station at the time, heard about the robbery from the store clerk and decided to try and help retrieve the stolen lighters, Moss said.

The next day, the victim saw the man he believed robbed the gas station driving around and pulled over to talk to him, pushing him to return the lighters. The van driver agreed, and the two started making their way back to the gas station when the driver turned around and started heading in a different direction, Moss said.

The victim followed him, and when they had stopped in traffic on the I-5 bridge, he got out of his car and confronted the other driver, pounding on his windows, Moss said.


“Ultimately, when the suspect started to drive away, he hit him head-on and ran over him,” Moss said.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries. No arrests had been made as of Thursday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office “knows who the suspect is” and is working with the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to obtain a search warrant for him, Moss said.

No further information was immediately available.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the victim was robbed, rather than the gas station. It has since been updated.