A game of chicken turned to tragedy as a 20-year-old City Heights man fell off an overpass to his death on Interstate 805 and then was struck by a tractor-trailer, a police spokesman said.
Travis Rueben and a friend were playing a game of dare Thursday night, above the freeway near Tulip Lane when the accident occurred, police spokesman Bill Robinson said.
Rueben, who lived nearby in the 4000 block of Pepper Drive, had climbed over the restraining fence and onto the freeway side of the bridge, and he was unable to return to safety, Robinson said.
"He was hanging over the freeway and his friend was trying to pull him up with a belt wrapped around his wrist," Robinson said.
Rueben, a painter at the Maryland Hotel, landed on his back and was struck by a tractor-trailer and dragged 150 feet, Robinson said. A spokesman at the county medical examiner's office said the man was probably hit by several other cars.
His friend was so overcome with grief that he was taken to a mental health facility, Robinson said.