A pedestrian killed while crossing a busy Lewiston street on a foggy Thanksgiving night previously survived being struck by a vehicle not far from where he died.

John Joseph O’Neill Jr., 68, of Lewiston, was hit at about 7:45 p.m. in the 600 block of 21st Street by a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven northbound, Lewiston police said.

Police found O’Neill lying in the roadway in the northbound lanes with serious injuries and a black Jeep Grand Cherokee parked at the scene. Evidence at the scene indicated and witnesses told police O’Neill was struck by the vehicle while crossing westbound, Lt. Jeff Klone said.

Police are not releasing the name of the driver. They do not consider drugs and alcohol to be factors in the incident.

The Lewiston Fire Department arrived at the location to attend to O’Neill, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, Klone said.

O’Neill, who has short gray hair, was a familiar figure to many motorists in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. He often would yell and gesture dramatically at passing cars in the downtown area and North Lewiston.

He was hit by a vehicle around 10 p.m. on June 15, 2017, at the intersection of Third Avenue and U.S. Highway 12 in North Lewiston. In that incident, O’Neill was struck and then dragged by the vehicle into the intersection where the driver, later identified as Boise resident Jorge Barajas, did not stop, but told officers he hit O’Neill shortly after the incident. Barajas told police he did not see O’Neill because of the dark, rainy conditions.

O’Neill spent several weeks in intensive care at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center after suffering broken bones, internal injuries and skin abrasions following the 2017 incident.

Lewiston Police Department’s Major Collision Investigation Team was called out Thursday night to investigate the fatal incident, and the northbound lanes of 21st Street from Eighth Avenue to Main Street were closed for about 2½ hours.

Anyone who might have witnessed what occurred is asked to call Lewiston police at (208) 746-0171 and speak with Klone.

Wells may be contacted at mwells@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2275.

Recommended for you