Durham County

Death that closed Durham Freeway Thursday believed to have been a suicide

An apparent hit-and-run death early Thursday morning that closed the Durham Freeway for several hours is now believed to be a probable suicide, police say.

Durham Police Department spokesman Wil Glenn said a pedestrian was struck by several vehicles on the northbound lanes of the freeway — N.C. 147 — just under the northern edge of the Duke Street bridge at 2:50 a.m. Thursday.

Glenn said the occupants of two vehicles remained on scene to report striking the body after it had already come to rest in the roadway.

He added that police believe the dead man, 37, whose identity was not released, possibly jumped from the Duke Street bridge and landed in the right lane just below, or walked out onto the highway and lay down there.

In a statement just after 5 a.m. Thursday, police said they’d closed the freeway in both directions — northbound at Duke Street and southbound at Chapel Hill Street — investigating what they were then calling a possible hit-and-run.

The freeway remained closed for several hours while the police investigated the death.