Friend stops to refill gas tank on side of I-94, is struck and killed by semi

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CHARLESTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- An individual helping a friend refill her gas tank was killed when a semi hit him in the eastbound lanes of I-94 near the 40th Street exit early Friday morning.

Around 2:40 a.m., a woman driving a van ran out of gas and attempted to pull out of the right lane at mile 88. She and at least one passenger called a male friend to help.  He arrived, and started putting gas in the van when a passing semi sideswiped the vehicle and hit the friend, killing him instantly. The victim, identified only as a 49-year-old man from Battle Creek, was dragged approximately 100 yards. The woman and the passenger were hospitalized for shock.

The victim has been identified as Todd Hodgkinson of Battle Creek.

The semi didn't stop and is being sought. The only description of the semi available was that it was a black or dark-colored cab with white trailer, said Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas.  Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office at 269-383-8823.

The eastbound lanes of I-94 were closed until the on-scene investigation was complete. The highway was reopened just before 5:30 a.m.


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