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UPDATED: Body found in Ronan victim of hit-and-run

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RONAN — Local law enforcement are investigating the death of a 62-year-old man who was apparently killed by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday evening near the Valley Club bar on Third Avenue.

According to a press release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County 911 received a report of an unresponsive adult male lying in the parking lot of a Ronan tavern around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday night.

Law enforcement personnel from the Ronan Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Flathead Tribal Police and the Lake County Coroner responded shortly after.

Ronan Ambulance transported the 62-year-old male to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene of the crime before officers arrived.

Montana Highway Patrol, the Ronan Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. Several hundred yards of Third Avenue have been closed to traffic since the discovery.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Shad Andersen would not release the name of the deceased until immediate family members had been notified. Investigators await results from the state crime lab as they continue to interview last night’s bar patrons.

Montana Highway Patrol does not normally assist in these types of investigations, but Andersen said the department has equipment to survey and measure the crime scene, giving a more accurate and detailed map of the area for investigators.

“We don’t want to leave anything out,” Andersen said. “We’re trying to cover all our bases.”

When asked why MHP was assisting in the investigation, Andersen said, “How do I put this — the MHP will help investigate murders.”

“Officers are currently following several leads to determine the identity of the suspect vehicle and driver,” the press release said. “The public is asked to report any information that may be helpful in solving this case to Lake County Crime Stoppers at (406) 883-7309.”

Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

Please continue to check this article, as it will be updated when more information becomes available.

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