Feeling no relief for his suffering was within reach, former serviceman Cederick Hill jumped in front of an incoming car along Highway 149. In doing so, he took his own life to the shock and horror of those nearby.
KLTV reported the 34-year-old U.S. Army veteran was traveling Friday evening with family members. Hill began talking about suicide, which alarmed his relatives and prompted them to call 911.
Pulling the vehicle to the side of the road, Hill got out of the vehicle and began walking along the highway.
Lakeport police arrived at the scene and went up to Hill to ask him how his was doing and to assess the situation. He told them he was fine and that he need to walk to calm himself.
“Family members had called in and said Cederick was having some issues threatening suicide, possibly issues related to PTSD when he was in the war,” said Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kirk Haddix.
The responding officers began walking back to the vehicle to speak to the family members when Hill jumped onto the highway and was hit by an oncoming car. He was killed instantly.
Police and family members witnessed the horrific event.
“He hit the hood, then went into the windshield. Family members and Lakeport police officers were on the scene of this when it happened. Hill was calm, he was assuring them that he was fine, he didn’t intend to harm himself or anyone else. Seconds later, he was dead,” said Haddix.
Investigators stated it was an incident no one could have predicted.
The driver drove for another mile before stopping, shocked from what had just happened. Hill had smashed in the passenger’s side of the windshield when hit by the car. The driver was physically uninjured but the incident is one that will surely haunt him the rest of his life.
“The man that hit him didn’t see him walk out in front of traffic. He was basically in a state of shock and stopped about a mile away,” said Haddix.
Family members stated Hill suffered from PTSD from being in the war.
“We will be speaking with the family to get some more information about his previous mental state,” Haddix stated. “There’s nothing officers could have done to stop it.
Authorities have ruled the incident a suicide. There will be no further investigation and no autopsy will be done.
According to Warrior Transition Command, soldiers who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder often feel like they have no control of their lives and often feel they are in danger.
In a report released in February 2013 by Veteran’s Affairs, 22 veterans per day commit suicide.
“The mental health and well-being of our courageous men and women who have served the Nation is the highest priority for VA, and even one suicide is one too many,” said Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “We have more work to do and we will use this data to continue to strengthen our suicide prevention efforts and ensure all Veterans receive the care they have earned and deserve.”