Driver in fatal hit-and-run crash on I-40 turns himself in; charges pending further investigation

Driver in fatal hit-and-run crash on I-40 turns himself in; charges pending further investigation

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A Claremont man turned himself in to troopers Thursday in connection with a hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 28-year-old Statesville man earlier this week.

Earle Vinson Blanton, 71, turned himself in to troopers at the N.C. Highway Patrol office in Statesville on Thursday afternoon. A 1984 Chevrolet pickup has been located and secured by investigators, according to Trooper Jeffrey S. Swagger. Charges are pending further investigation and consultation with the Iredell County District Attorney’s office.

Harold Dean Stewart III died after being struck as he stood beside a car on Interstate 40 near Exit 154 Tuesday evening.

Trooper Marla Powell said Stewart had just left Davis Regional Medical Center Tuesday when he was spotted by a passing motorist. The woman driving the car was concerned about Stewart’s condition and stopped. She called 911 and was talking with Stewart when a truck hit the construction barrier, the woman’s vehicle and struck Stewart as well.

Swagger said Blanton contacted the highway patrol after a family member saw a media report about the crash. He said the sharing of the information led to the location of the driver in a timely manner.

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