FRESNO, Calif. - The California Highway Patrol is still investigating how a homeless man ended up dead on the side of the freeway. The body was discovered on Thursday night around 8:30pm on the Highway 41 northbound on-ramp off of Herndon Avenue.
At this point, the man has not yet been identified. He's only been described as a white male in his 50s or 60s. The CHP said it didn't look like his body suffered any trauma, so they believe the man may have died from natural causes.
The freeways are meant only for cars and traffic, but the CHP said unfortunately some choose the sides of the highway as their living space.
CHP public information officer Victor Taylor stated, "We have individuals that are using narcotics and have weapons and things of that sorts, really unsafe. So we would hope if they have family or something of that nature, or if they can head over the [to the] Poverello House."
Investigators believe the body had been at the small encampment for a few days. A group of transients in the area found the body.
Caltrans and CHP said cleaning up illegal encampments is an issue they deal with everyday.
Sam Yniguez is the PIO for Caltrans. He said, "We'll go out and we'll ask them to leave if they refuse to. Then we are required to post a 72-hour notice. At that point, we'll come back, and if they still refuse to leave, we'll have CHP assist us with removing them."
CHP said transients can be cited, or even arrested, if found living off the freeways.
If you notice any illegal encampments on the freeways or on and off-ramps, you can report to Caltrans on their website.