Officials: Man turns self in, charged in deadly Catawba County hit-and-run

Officials: Man turns self in, charged in deadly Catawba County hit-and-run

CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man who is accused of fatally striking a pedestrian in Catawba County reportedly turned himself in Friday morning.

Officials say Michael Ryan Cooke turned himself in connection with a deadly hit-and-run that occurred 5:34 a.m. Wednesday morning on Highway 70. Cooke was charged with felony hit and run causing severe injury or death.

A detective says Cooke told them he fled because he "just panicked." Officials said Cooke reportedly turned himself in at the magistrate's office in Newton.

Cooke received a $18,000 secured bond.

Long View Police described the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run as an older model, dark-colored Chevrolet pick-up truck. Just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, investigators reported they had located the vehicle.

Even though it was dark and raining at the time, damage to the suspect vehicle indicated the driver had to know what happened and should have stopped.

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Detectives said all the broken vehicle parts found at the scene on Highway 70 matched up with damage on the truck they believe Cooke was driving when the pedestrian was hit and killed

"The driver did not stop, slow down, or do anything," Pitts said. "Surveillance video from a car lot across from where the accident happened has provided a lot of details."

The video also showed a white big rig without a trailer passing by just a few seconds after the pedestrian was killed. Police want to speak with that driver.

Several lanes on Highway 70 were blocked due to the incident.

The victim's identity has not been released.

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