ST. CHARLES COUNTY ( -- A man from Colorado was killed when a St. Charles County police cruiser hit a pedestrian who was crossing Interstate 70 late Wednesday night.

The officer was driving in the westbound lanes of the interstate when he struck a pedestrian, identified as James P. Kelley, walking in the center lane near the Cave Springs exit shortly after 10 p.m. According to witnesses, that person was attempting to cross the highway. Police later said the Lafayette, Colorado man had his belongings, including a sleeping bag, with him when he was struck.

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The 49-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officer was evaluated on scene but was not taken to the hospital. Police said the officer involved is 36 years old with 12 years of law enforcement service.

Officials with the St. Charles County Police Department told News 4 they do not believe the officer was speeding at the time of the incident. They also said there is no way the officer could have avoided hitting the man.

Interstate 70 was shut down for several hours but reopened during the early morning hours Thursday.

“The men and women of the St. Charles County Police Department wish to express their heartfelt sympathies to the victim of this unfortunate incident,” read a portion of a press release sent out by the St. Charles County Police Department’s spokesperson.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is handling the ongoing investigation.

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