KITCARSON, Colo. --- An Oregon man walking across the country to raise awareness of bullying and teen suicide has been hit and killed by a commercial truck.

Faces for Change President Bud Hill reports the organization's spokesman Joe Bell died Wednesday afternoon.

Bell was struck and killed by a semitrailer around 5 p.m. Wednesday as he walked on State Highway 40 near the town of Kit Carson, Colorado. The La Grande, Oregon resident had been walking to New York to raise awareness of bullying and teen suicide.

Colorado State Patrol officers say Bell was struck from behind while he walked eastbound on Highway 40 shortly after 5 p.m.

The 49-year-old semitruck driver who hit him was cited with careless driving. Officers say it's possible the driver had fallen asleep when the crash happened. They continue to investigate.

Bell spoke in Boise last May, telling members of the Ada County Boys and Girls Club about his 15-year-old son Jadin, who was bullied for being gay, and ultimately took his own life in February.

The personal tragedy inspired Bell to form Faces for Change last year. Hill says the organization will continue its mission despite Bell's passing.

Read or Share this story: