Man on cross-country awareness walk fatally hit by truck

KIT CARSON, Colo. An Oregon man who lost his gay son to suicide and was walking across the country to raise awareness about bullying is dead after being hit by a truck in eastern Colorado.

The Colorado State Patrol says 48-year-old Joseph Bell of La Grande, Ore., died Wednesday after being struck along a two-lane highway in a rural area 20 miles northwest of Kit Carson. Investigators believe the driver fell asleep.

Bell's 15-year-old son, Jadin, died in February after hanging himself in a schoolyard. He had reported being bullied but he didn't leave a suicide note.

Bell began his walk in April and planned to finish in New York City.

The truck driver, 49-year-old Kenneth Raven, of Bryan, Texas, has been charged with careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor.

Bell's website released the following statement:

Friends and supporters,
We are sad to share that the recent news of Joe's passing is true. Joe was supported by a number of people, across a number of states. Please be patient with us as we come together, and allow the family time to process this difficult tragedy.

CBS Colorado Springs affiliate KKTV-TV reports Bell had reportedly spoken in Boulder and Denver while in Colorado.