All lanes of Interstate Highway 880 in Hayward have reopened following a complete shutdown earlier this morning due to a dead body on the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The body of a 53-year-old Hispanic man was located in the roadway between West A Street and West Winton Avenue, the CHP said.
Motorists first reported a dead animal on the freeway Thursday morning, but only minutes later did others realize what they were dodging and sometimes hitting: a human body.
“It looks like we have a body in the roadway” in Hayward near A Street, said California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Nave. “It's unknown how it got there at this point.”
Drivers began calling in at 5:56 a.m. reporting an animal carcass in the roadway, but by 6:08 a.m. the first call came in saying that the body was not animal but human, Nave said.
Several cars had indeed hit the body, Nave said, and body parts are reportedly strewn across the highway.
It is unknown whether the victim actually died on the freeway or was dead before the body ended up there, but it will most likely be investigated as a homicide, according to officials.
“Any time you have a body and it's on the freeway or the side of the road, you have to treat it as a homicide, (unless) it becomes readily apparent that it's not that,” Alameda County Sheriff's Department Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
Another possibility is that a vehicle fatally struck the person, according to Nelson.
“(But) you'd think you'd have a car somewhere that stopped,” Nelson said. “If not, it's a hit and run.”
The situation caused a traffic nightmare in the East Bay with southbound Interstate 880 shut down and eastbound 580 jammed up. The shutdown also affected northbound 880 traffic because of rubberneckers, Nave added.