The driver arrested Wednesday for allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian on U.S. 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.
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, according to court records. After Knuth and Lee got into an argument in the vehicle, Lee walked off.
Knuth said he went to Home Depot off North Division Street looking for Lee and couldn’t find him, but thought he had been taken inside by employees, courts records say. 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 side 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 is being held in jail on investigation of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Bond was set in court Thursday at $75,000, and release conditions include a requirement for an ignition release lock on Knuth’s vehicle.
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