DART Bus Fatally Strikes Driver Disabled on Interstate 35E: Dallas County Sheriff's Office

A driver who exited his disabled vehicle on the highway was struck and killed by a DART bus Tuesday morning on Interstate 35E, according to authorities. [[344497702,C]]

Dallas County Sheriff's deputies said the bus struck the man on southbound I-35E near Inwood Road just after 5 a.m.

Witness Marcus Dennis told NBC 5 the victim, identified by police as 24-year-old Brenton Kristoffer Smith, was driving a pickup and veered into the median, then bounced into a middle lane of traffic. Dennis pulled over to help Smith, who said a tie rod went out, causing him to lose his steering ability.

Dennis said he tried to help Smith get out of the road, but that he would not leave. Smith stood in traffic trying to warn oncoming drivers about his disabled vehicle.

"I'd like his family to know that he was more worried of others than himself," Dennis said. "Unfortunately, trying to prevent that from happening is what caused this to happen."

Dennis said he and Smith jumped out of the way of an 18-wheeler that was headed toward them, but that a DART bus driving behind the 18-wheeler then fatally struck Smith.

"The DART bus driver couldn't have slowed down," said. "There was nothing he could do to prevent the situation."

Smith died instantly, authorities said.

"It's messing with me," Dennis said. "I was out there to prevent this from happening and it still happened and I feel like it falls on my shoulders. He wasn't able to say goodbye to his friends and family."

NBC 5 confirmed two crashes on northbound and two on southbound I-35E near Inwood Road as of 6:30 a.m., blocking multiple lanes.

NBC 5's Ellen Bryan and Katy Blakey contributed to this report.

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