Man fatally struck by hit-and-run driver while changing tire on I-5 in Merced County

LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol is searching for a hit-and-run driver who killed a man on Interstate 5 in Merced County overnight.

CHP officers say the victim, identified as Stanley Crossland, 51, of Santa Rosa, was driving a white GMC pickup truck and towing a flatbed trailer when he pulled onto the shoulder of the southbound lanes, just north of Mercy Springs Road.

"It appears he was changing the tire. The left rear tire of the trailer was blown, so it appeared he was out changing the tire at the time when he was hit," said Officer Shannon Stiers.

Other people driving past the scene called 911, and when officers arrived, they found Crossland unconscious beneath the trailer. They performed CPR, but he died from his injuries.

The other driver was nowhere to be found.

"Right now it's a felony hit and run, with major injuries or death to another party. Fleeing the scene is a major issue," Stiers told Action News.

Investigators returned to the area Tuesday to search for any evidence they might have missed in the dark and conduct follow up interviews.

"Going to be questioning all the area gas stations, truck stops, everything to find out," Stiers said. "At this point, we don't know what type of vehicle, a big rig, a car, we're following every lead possible."

Officers say while they're not blaming the victim for this deadly crash, they do want to remind drivers that it's very dangerous to get out of your car on the side of a highway. They say it's best to stay in your car and call for help, if possible.

Anyone who may have information about this crash is asked to call the CHP.
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