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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fatal hit-and-run suspect was drinking with victim before collision

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 23, 2014

The man arrested Wednesday for allegedly striking and killing a pedestrian on state Highway 2 had been drinking with the victim at a local bar prior to the collision, according to a police report.

Orlan W. Knuth, 35, was arrested following the Wednesday morning collision that killed Joshua B. Lee, 31, as Lee was walking down the paved shoulder of Highway 2 north of Nevada Street. Both men lived in Deer Park.

Lee and Knuth were neighbors and had been drinking together at Knuth’s home in Deer Park. Knuth reported drinking eight or nine beers before the pair went out to play pool and drink more at Snoops Saloon.

Knuth’s sister, Cherylon, was also at Snoops and gave Lee the keys to drive home because she said her brother had had too much to drink. After Knuth and Lee got into an argument in the vehicle, Lee walked off when they stopped driving.

Knuth said he went to Home Depot off of North Division Street looking for Lee and couldn’t find him, but thought he had been taken inside by employees. He drove home and said he remembered hitting something while driving home, but thought it was a guardrail or mailbox post.

Two teenagers walking to school found Lee lying in a ditch on the ride of the highway just after 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. He was still breathing, but was pronounced dead at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center before 9 a.m.

Investigators impounded Knuth’s 1988 Chevrolet pickup, which he was driving at the time of the collision. He was booked into jail on investigation of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Knuth’s first court appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

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