Deputies searching for suspect in Spanaway hit-and-run that killed 40-year-old man

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Ariel Vazquez Lopez

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department needs your help to identify the suspect responsible for a deadly hit and run collision Tuesday night in Spanaway.

At approximately 7:45 p.m., a passerby found a critically injured man lying alongside the roadway in the 1400 block of 152nd St. E. The victim was identified as 40-year-old Ariel Vazquez Lopez; he was suffering from a serious head wound and later died from his injuries.

Anica Rivas was one of several people who tried to help the victim at the scene.

"We were coming home from our basketball game and I saw a bunch of commotion," she said. "I hopped out of the car -- someone said a guy was in the street. There was a lady over there helping him already and she was on the phone with 911."

Deputies believe that Vazquez Lopez was walking along the roadway when he was struck by a vehicle that was heading westbound on 152nd St. E. The unidentified vehicle fled the scene and the driver has not identified.

"It makes me frustrated and sad -- knowing that there are a lot of walkers up and down this street," Rivas said. "He was a normal everyday walker. I've seen him for several years walking up and down the street."

Investigators found a white plastic passenger side mirror on the shoulder of the road near where the victim was found; it is believed to be from a 1997 to 2001 Toyota Camry.

Deputies are looking for any information on the driver and vehicle involved in the fatal hit and run.

If you know who was driving or where to find the vehicle, submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County at or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

There is a cash reward of up to $1,000 for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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