KIN, Okinawa — A 19-year-old Marine was run over and killed while he lay in the middle of a lane on the Okinawa Expressway early Friday.

Okinawa police reported that a private first class assigned to Camp Hansen was struck about 12:38 a.m. by a car driven by a 19-year-old college student, a tourist from mainland Japan. The Marine was rushed to Hokubu Hospital in Nago, where he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m. of massive head injuries.

A Marine spokesman would not confirm the Marine’s name pending notification of next of kin.

An Okinawa police spokesman said investigators were puzzled about what the Marine was doing on the highway. There are no pedestrian paths along the toll road and no other vehicle was parked near the accident scene.

The driver told police investigators that he spotted a body lying on the highway ahead of him, in the inside lane near the median, when he was traveling northbound toward Nago. He said he immediately applied his brakes, but it was too late and his vehicle with five passengers ran over the Marine.

No alcohol was detected on the driver’s breath and he was driving within legal speed limits, the police spokesman said. The accident occurred within a half mile north of the highway’s exit to Kin, where Camp Hansen is located.

“From information we have gathered so far, it is highly possible that the victim somehow walked up to the expressway and for some reason wound up sleeping on the road,” the police spokesman said.

The accident remains under investigation by Okinawa police and Marine officials. An autopsy will be performed at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester, the police spokesman said.

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