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Victim identified as 60-year-old man in deadly hit-skip in Stark County, search for driver continues

Posted at 3:56 AM, Oct 05, 2016

The Stark County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim in a deadly hit-skip accident that happened late Tuesday night.

Chief Deputy John Campbell said Dennis Slaton, 60, of Canton, was trying to cross Route 62 near Middlebranch Road in Plain Township around 10 p.m. when he was hit by a car and killed.

Investigators are still trying to figure out who the hit-and-run driver was.

Car parts left at the scene prove the driver took off in a 2011 or 2012 Hyundai Sonata with damage to the passenger side mirror and possible damage to the front and passenger side of the car. 

Detectives spent Wednesday hoping to find surveillance video from nearby businesses that may have captured the crash, but so far, no luck. 

Deputies say they believe it's likely the driver knew he hit someone or something, but just kept going. 

Last year, an On Your Side investigation found more than 600 crashes over five years on a one-mile stretch of SR 62, which included the Middlebranch Road intersection. 

The story revealed 176 injuries and four deaths from 2009 to 2014. 

"I've been here for a year and a half, and I've seen like half a dozen accidents at that light right there," said Angela Hamilton, who works at a surplus store in the area. 

ODOT is promising a $7 million project that would widen part of that stretch of SR 62 and reconstruct some of the intersections. But that won't start until 2018.

On Wednesday, Campbell said it was frustrating that the driver fled the scene.

"We got detectives out working the streets right now, trying to locate that, leaving no stone unturned in an attempt to locate the driver of the vehicle," said Campbell. "We would ask that the public, anyone that would have any information, please don't hesitate to call the sheriff's office."

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 330-430-3800.