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Sheriff Searches For Driver In Deadly Hit & Run

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HASLET (CBSDFW.COM) – Investigators with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office are searching for the person who hit and killed a jogger early Thursday morning and left the scene.

The hit-and-run happened just after 5:30 a.m. in the 13000 block of Willow Springs Road, near Haslet.

Around 4 p.m. Thursday investigators announced that they had found the vehicle that they believe was involved in the incident.

Authorities had searched for the dark-colored Ford Ranger pickup all day and finally found it at a Fort Worth body shop. The truck was impounded and has been taken for forensic testing. Investigators said they found blood on it.

Shortly after that discovery, the victim was identified as Walter Hopkins 37.

Detectives say they also found what they believe is blood from the victim on the front end of the truck.

According to Sheriff’s officials, a resident called 911 early Thursday to say that they had heard a crash. A deputy responded to the area in question and soon found a jogger dead in the roadway.

“We discovered a white male, dressed in exercise clothes, slightly off the roadway and deceased,” explained Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Terry Grisham. “[He] was the apparent victim of an auto-pedestrian accident.”

Officials say the scene is particularly odd because the jogger was acting correctly and was running toward oncoming traffic.

“It appears that someone from behind him crossed the roadway, going against traffic, going the wrong way and stuck the victim from behind,” Grisham said.

Debris found near the scene is what led investigators to believe the hit-and-run suspect was driving a dark colored pickup, but they don’t know what caused the person to cross the roadway.

“We don’t know at this point whether distraction was a factor, whether alcohol or drugs were a factor. It was around 5:30 in the morning, still pitch dark, on a poorly lit country road.”

When the hit-and-run suspect is identified and located the person could face charges ranging from failure to stop and render aid to vehicular homicide.

“That road back there, it’s 30 but people go 60, 70 miles per hour all the time, so when it came out it was a hit and run, it wasn’t a surprise,” said Haslet resident Matraya Lewis.

Anyone with information about the incident or may have been in the Haslet area, near Blue Mound/Willow Springs Road and Highway 287, early Thursday morning is asked to contact the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office at (817) 884-1212.

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