SAN JOSE -- An elderly man who was struck and killed Thursday night while trying to cross Highway 237 has been identified as Jose Morales of San Jose, whom family members said suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

The accident happened around 8:40 p.m. when Morales was hit in the eastbound lanes of the highway, near the N. First Street offramp. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Morales' nephew said his uncle had recently moved in with a relative in the area for home care. He disputed initial reports that the man had been running across the lanes.

"My uncle didn't run," said Gerardo Lopez. "He's 83 years old."

Lopez said that Morales was new to the area and likely believed he had to cross the road to get to his old apartment, which was near a wide roadway similar to the freeway.

"He didn't know what was best," Lopez said.

Lopez said Morales moved from Mexicali to San Jose decades ago and had three children. He had been living alone in an apartment until his health took a turn for the worse, at which point he moved in with his wife's sister so they could look after him, near where the accident happened.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.



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