Police have identified the landscaper killed early Wednesday on Loop 202 as Oscar Ruiz, 23, of Mexico. Police have not yet determined why a Chrysler car hit him.
The Chrysler had been driving eastbound on Loop 202 near Gilbert Road when it ran into the back of a trailer pulled by a pick-up truck, veered from the right lane on to the emergency shoulder and then to the dirt shoulder where Ruiz was working.
Ruiz had been preparing the ground along the roadside for planting and irrigation. He died at the scene after he was struck.
Sgt. Harold Sanders of the Department of Public Safety said the work area had been protected by a truck equipped with a fold-up crash box on its rear and warning signs to alert motorists that workers were nearby.
The speed limit for this section of Loop 202 is 65 mph, and the Chrysler was estimated to be traveling between 60 and 65 mph. The driver and passengers in the car were not hurt.
Ruiz had been employed by Sunbelt's Conveyored Aggregate, a subcontractor for M. Anderson Construction Corporation which holds the Arizona Department of Transportation contract to landscape the highway area from Arizona Avenue to Gilbert.
DPS continues to investigate.