Kamloops RCMP are waiting for an autopsy to find out what caused John Waldo Teed's death on the side of the East Trans-Canada highway in the dark hours of Saturday morning.
Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said Monday Teed's 73-year-old body was found by exit 375 in Valleyview.
He was living at the Acadian Inn on 1300-block of Columbia Street and according to his family, he didn't drive, drink or do drugs, Learned said. But Teed did buy liquor for some of the homeless people he knew who live in Valleyview and police suspect he had gone out to buy alcohol for someone else.
An unbroken liquor bottle was found where he was hit.
Police believe Teed had collapsed by the side of the highway, but that part of his body extended onto the driving lane of the road, some time between midnight and 1 a.m.
He was struck by a big rig, which was damaged on the right side. A lugnut cover and a few broken pieces from another cover were found at the scene.
Learned said Teed has a daughter in Ontario and a sister in Kamloops.
"I talked to his family. He's been like that for years — he would give his last nickel in his wallet to help someone," he said.
"He was known to be a very helpful person and a very compassionate person."
He was also said to be healthy and that he walked everywhere without problems.
Learned said it's possible the truck driver didn't realize he or she had hit someone. Police did send out a provincewide bulletin that also extended into Alberta for officers to watch for a semi rig with damage around the front right wheel.
The pieces found at the scene are generic and can't be linked to any particular truck brand, he said.
An autopsy is being done to see whether Teed was overcome by any kind of medical problem as well as whether any intoxicants were in his system.
Police are asking any truckers who were in the area at the time to check their rigs for missing lugnut covers. Anyone with information is asked to call Kamloops RCMP at 828-3000 or their nearest detachment.