BENNINGTON — Bennington Police have identified the 45-year-old man who was killed in a tragic pedestrian event on Route & near the Vermont State Office Complex on Friday evening.
According BPD Lt. Camillo A. Grande, Matthew Nicklaw of Bennington was killed after three separate encounters with passing vehicles at the location. The third proved fatal when he was struck by a tractor trailer.
“His family has been notified,” Grande said Tuesday. He said the investigation into Nicklaw’s death will continue. “There is still a lot of work to be done.
“At this juncture of the investigation, we are looking into this being a possible suicide,” he said.
Grande said investigators are looking back into Nicklaw’s life in the days before the incident, and it appears “he was in some kind of mental health crisis.”
He said Nicklaw was known to police because of previous mental health incidents.
Grande said Nicklaw died following three separate events on Route 7 at around 10 p.m. He said Nicklaw initially jumped out in front of a tractor trailer heading south, but that driver was able to avoid the man and called 911 to alert police to the situation.
He said Nicklaw then jumped out in front of the black vehicle and was brushed by the car, damaging the passenger side mirror. He said that driver stopped his car and tried to render aid, but “there was a verbal altercation and he left.” That driver also called 911.
As officers were responding, they arrived to find that Nicklaw had been fatally struck by another tractor trailer. Officers closed Route 7 from Kocher Drive to Depot Street for about two hours after the fatality.
Asked if the drivers have been cleared in the investigation, Grande said the investigation remains open, and the final report will be reviewed by the Bennington County State’s Attorney’s office.
Grande urged anyone experiencing a mental health situation, such as depression, to reach out for help, such as calling the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 988.