Lanes reopen after investigation into man found dead on I-85 - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Police looking for witnesses after man is found dead on I-85 in Petersburg

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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Investigators are working to find out more about a startling discovery - a body found in the middle of a highway. Interstate 85 near Petersburg was shut down for part of Wednesday morning. Now, authorities have many questions about who the victim is, and what happened.

It is perhaps the last thing you'd ever expect to run into as you're heading down the interstate.

"For a body to be in that place, how did it get there?" asked Darryl Williams.

That's the very question state officers, special agents, and Petersburg police are all working to answer. This after reports of a man lying on the southbound lanes near Sycamore Street. Authorities responded and found him dead.

"It's terrible. It's really sad," said Alicia Lee.

Police confirm car after car after car continued to drive over that body.

"If I would've hit something, I'd at least stop to see what it was. You hit a  body. You can feel a bump, boom," Williams said.

The whole scenario shut down that portion of I-85 just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. It didn't re-open until before 6 a.m. Wednesday.

"That time of morning, people going back and forth to work," Williams said.

Authorities had no choice.

"That was a good idea to shut it down because I mean, there was a body out there," Lee said.

As drivers were detoured around the area, folks who live and work there are saddened to hear it's all the result of a life lost.

"I think everything's ok now. We feel sorry for the guy whoever he is. All the sympathy to the family," said the manager of Salem and Son's convenience store.

"I hope they put some closure to it and that it wasn't someone close to me. Either way, it was somebody's family member. A lost loved one," Williams said.

Authorities have not released the identity of the victim. The body is in the hands of the medical examiner to determine the exact cause and manner of death.

Police say a witness say a dark-colored sedan stopped on the right shoulder of the road, but the car was not there when troopers arrived. Police say the vehicle involved in the hit and run should have damage to the front end.

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