Man dies after pepper spray on highway

A man who ran in and out of traffic on the M5 near Moorebank has died after being pepper sprayed by police while they were trying to arrest him.

Police were called to the scene in southwestern Sydney around 3.35am on Sunday, in response to reports from motorists that a man was walking in the westbound lane of the highway.

Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said police arrived at the scene at about 3:50 a.m. when they found a shirtless 41-year-old man near the Moorebank Avenue exit running in and out of traffic in the eastbound carriageway.

“What [police] saw it was quite confrontational,” he said.

“The police were in contact with the man and he was given directions and he did not respond.”

Smith said a struggle broke out between the man and an officer who used OC spray while trying to take him into custody.

Police said the man lost consciousness a short time later and ambulances were called. They took him to Liverpool Hospital, but he could not be revived.

A critical incident investigation into the incident is now underway.

It will also be subject to independent review.

Police are calling on anyone who was on the M5 around this time and has relevant dashcam vision to contact Liverpool Police or Crime Stoppers.

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