Man arrested for hit-and-run that killed pedestrian in Catawba County

A police car.
A police car.(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man was killed in Catawba County Thursday night after being struck in a hit-and-run, the NC Highway Patrol says.

Around 10:30 p.m. on NC 127 near Zion Church Road, 56-year-old Tony Malta ran out of gas in the center of a turning lane near US 321 and stepped out of his vehicle. While walking in the travel lanes, he was hit by a southbound passenger car, which preceded to fleed the scene.

Malta, of Creston, died from injuries at the scene.

The suspect vehicle was a 2002 Saturn and officers located it two hours later behind a residence several miles away. Robert Lester, 31, of Hickory was located hours after that and charged with DWI. The vehicle was seized as evidence and further charges are pending the ongoing investigation.

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