A 24-year-old Coram man whose car ran out of gas was struck by a minivan and killed as he attempted to cross the Long Island Expressway in an apparent bid to get help from a police officer Tuesday night, Suffolk County police said.

Ryan Marshall was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by the eastbound van in the HOV lane between exits 62 and 63 in Holtsville at 7:50 p.m.

Police said the van, owned by the Suffolk Department of Social Services, was being driven by a 55-year-old Riverhead woman who works for the department. Police said she remained at the scene and was not injured in the crash.

Police said Marshall was driving his 2005 Honda CR-V eastbound when it apparently ran out of gas east of Exit 62.

Marshall then attempted to cross the expressway to the center median -- to reach a stopped Highway Patrol officer -- when he was struck by the 2006 Ford minivan.

"It appears that Marshall may have been trying to cross the expressway to get to a Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer that was stopped on the expressway's center median," police said in a news release detailing the fatality.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday whether Marshall's car had become disabled on the eastbound shoulder or in a travel lane before he attempted to cross the road.

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The road was closed in the area for about four hours for investigation, police said.

The investigation is continuing.