Graphic wound made cause of death hard to identify for man who died on Brickyard Rd.

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) – Phenix City police have identified the man who was struck and killed on Brickyard Road.

Richard Gaines, 61, passed away on March 12, 2017, due to blunt force trauma after being struck by a vehicle.

Officers responded to Brickyard Road on Sunday and discovered Gaines with an injury to the head. An autopsy report revealed the victim was struck by a vehicle.

According to the medical examiner, what appeared to be a gunshot wound was an injury resulting from blunt force trauma from the vehicle's impact.  

"From looking at [Gaines] it appeared to be a gunshot wound to his head because we saw what appeared to be an entry and an exit wound," said Phenix City Police Lieutenant Angela Leslie. "Once hey did an autopsy that's when we realized, that it was actually a vehicle versus a gunshot."

Leslie said the graphic nature of the wound on Gaines' body made the cause of death extremely difficult to identify.

"Apparently the body was run over so [Gaines'] had a crushed chest and head, and that's where we saw the wound to the head," said Leslie. "From my understanding, it came from a bone in the head that protruded making it appear to be a gunshot initially."

Gaines was pronounced dead at the scene by the Russell County Coroner's Office.    

Police said one of the theories they are investigating is whether the victim was struck on top of the bridge directly over Brickyard road, which could have caused him to fall over onto the roadway below.

Anyone with information is asked to notify the Phenix City Police Department Lt. Angela Leslie at 334-448-2825 or Lt. Steve Nolin 334-448-2835.

Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved.