Fatal hit and run suspect: 'I thought I hit a guardrail or mailb - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fatal hit and run suspect: 'I thought I hit a guardrail or mailbox post'

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Orlan W. Knuth makes his first appearance before a judge facing Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony Hit and Run charges Orlan W. Knuth makes his first appearance before a judge facing Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony Hit and Run charges
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  • UPDATE: WSP make arrest in deadly hit and run case

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SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The man accused of hitting and killing 31-year-old Joshua Lee with his car early Wednesday morning made his first appearance before a judge Thursday afternoon. 

35-year-old Orlan Knuth is being charged with Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony Hit and Run. 

Early Wednesday morning, someone reported seeing a man in the ditch off of Highway 2 just north of Hawthorne near Nevada St. Troopers arrived on scene, located the man identified as Joshua Lee from Deer Park, and transported him to the hospital where he later died.

Investigators spent Wednesday at the scene going over evidence, and announced Wednesday night that they had arrested Knuth. They also impounded Knuth's 1988 Chevy Pickup.

A police report stated that Knuth had been drinking at a local bar with Lee prior to the collision. The report stated that Lee and Knuth were neighbors and had been drinking together at Knuth's home in Deer Park before they went to play pool and drink more at a local bar. 

Knuth and Lee got into an argument about Knuth driving home because he had had too much to drink, and Lee got out of the car and started walking home, according to the report. 

The report stated that Knuth said he went to a nearby Home Depot off of North Division Street looking for Lee, but couldn't find him so he decided to drive home. Knuth said he remembered hitting something while driving home, but thought it was a guardrail or mailbox post, according to documents.

Lee was found in the ditch by two teenagers walking to school just after 8:00 a.m.

Knuth's bail was set at $75,000 and his arraignment was scheduled for November 4, 2014. 

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