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Man fatally hit after running into traffic

Driver uninjured, not impaired, police say
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A Colfax man who reportedly ran out into Highway 49 traffic in Auburn died Wednesday night. Michael B. Johnston, 53, was standing on the west roadway edge of the highway south of Atwood Road at about 5:40 p.m. when witnesses say he suddenly ran into traffic lanes, according to Officer David Martinez, California Highway Patrol spokesman. Johnston was hit by the blue Honda Pilot that Betsy E. Lipps, 63, of Auburn, was driving southbound in the No. 1 lane at about 45 mph, Martinez said. Martinez said Johnston ran directly in front of Lipps’ vehicle. Johnston reportedly landed on the road with major trauma to his left side. Emergency personnel administered CPR on scene, but Johnston succumbed to his injuries before being transported to a hospital, Martinez said. Both lanes of the highway were shut as emergency crews responded to the accident. Martinez said officers were on scene diverting traffic until the highway was reopened at about 6:30 p.m. Martinez said investigators are waiting for toxicology test results to determine Johnston’s sobriety at the time of the accident. Lipps was not injured nor was she under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Martinez said. The accident remains under investigation. ~ Jenifer Gee