Despite an exhaustive search, they never found him.
A Lynnwood man was driving his Dodge Dakota pickup north around 8:30 a.m. when the pedestrian was struck along I-5 just north of 128th Street, officials said. The impact left scuff marks on a tire.
"We found a shoe and no other trace of him," Washington State Patrol trooper Keith Leary said.
The shoe -- a red, size 10½ Vans brand -- was spotted in a car pool lane, trooper Mark Francis said.
Traffic slowed along the stretch of freeway during the Thursday morning commute as drivers noticed the large presence of police and fire vehicles. The driver said the pedestrian might have been hit in the legs, Leary said.
A Lynnwood police dog was used to look for him.
The State Patrol also sent a plane to search for signs. They think the man may have disappeared into the woods and thick brush alongside the highway.
"The reason we are checking is to see if someone needs medical help," Leary said. "We want to check every nook and cranny."
Area hospitals were asked to watch out for the man, who is believed to be between the ages of 18 and 22. He was wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt.
Medics arrived but had no one to transport.
Firefighters also used in their search a thermal imaging camera, looking for the man's body heat.
"We had firefighters searching along both sides of the freeway and the Interurban Trail," Snohomish County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said. "We left it with law enforcement that if they find a patient, they'll call us."
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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