Updated: A DOG-WALKER died when he was struck by several vehicles as he tried to cross the A64 near York.

Police said the man, believed to be local and about 50 years old, was attempting to cross the eastbound carriageway on foot between York and Bilbrough on Saturday evening. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His dog was struck on the westbound carriageway and also died. Nine cars were involved in the collision.

The man, who was wearing dark clothing and jeans, is believed to have been returning home. It is likely to be some time before his identity can be formally released.

It was the latest fatal crash involving pedestrians on the busy flyover was built and gaps in the central reservation were closed to improve safety. The stretch has a 70mph speed limit and several bus stops on both sides of the road with some bus passengers facing a walk of three miles if they use the flyover to cross the road.

The incident blocked both carriageways of the A64 between Tadcaster and Bilbrough and the road remained closed for several hours. Some motorists had to find overnight accommodation because they were unable to get home. It came a day after two crashes involving six vehicles on the A64 near Copmanthorpe led to long traffic queues along both carriageways.

The latest accident happened shortly before 7pm on Saturday.

Zafar Hussain, manager of the Aagrar Restaurant on the A64, close to the scene, said: “Any loss of life is a tragedy. There were a few people who came in who were very upset after seeing it happen.

There’s no substitute for life. Unfortunately, you can’t legislate for people crossing the A64.

“People do cross the A64. It is rare, but it happens. Over the last 12 years we have seen a few fatal accidents. I have to sympathise with whoever is concerned. At about 11.45pm the police officers came in and wanted hot drinks. We were long gone by the time they re-opened the road.”

The first staff at nearby Little Chef knew of what had happened was when a group of people came in asking for a taxi and said there had been an accident. Drivers sought refuge there and police set up a temporary base in the restaurant to speak to eye-witnesses while firefighters dealt with the vehicles.

Sgt Andy Quigley, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “It is vital that anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the pedestrian prior to the incident, gets in touch with the police as soon as possible.”

Sam Esler, chairman of Bilbrough Parish Council, said: “It is such a tragedy, particularly at this time of the year although any time is bad. “We tried for a long time to get signs put up to ask people to use the flyover. We know it adds more time and is difficult, especially for older people, but it is far safer than going across the carriageway.

“Even in daylight people can't generally judge the speed of traffic but they take a chance. And I suppose it will happen again in the future – people being people.” But with a warning to others, he urged: “Just don’t go over the A64 on foot. It is just madness.”

Anyone who saw the dog walker before the accident, or the accident itself, or could help police identify the victim are urged to phone North Yorkshire Police urgently on 0845 6060247 quoting reference number NYP-03122011-0446

• In December 2006, Ladislav Hosova, 43, of Fairfield Road, Tadcaster, was hit by a motorcycle and killed minutes after she got off a Coastliner bus at Bilbrough Top.

• Three years later, two Chinese students died when they were involved in a crash, got out of their vehicle and were hit as they stood on the carriageway.