Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth says a 61-year-old man was walking in the 700 block of West Gannon Avenue on his way to see his doctor around 5:45 a.m. Monday when he was hit.
"The family said he had a doctor appointment this morning," Hayworth said. "He lives about a mile away and he was walking into town, probably to catch a ride to the doctor's."
Police say the driver left the scene and later came back in another car. Officers questioned the driver at the police department for two hours after the accident.
Police have not yet released the victim's name. There is also no word yet on if there will be any charges against the driver.
The police chief says the pedestrian was wearing nothing to reflect oncoming traffic lights, or make it easier for approaching headlights to shine on him.
"When we got here it was dark, he was wearing blue jeans and a camouflage jacket, so he would have been hard to see if he was in the roadway at all," Hayworth said.
The chief also says his officers recognized the man and people working nearby say they've seen him walking past, more than once.
"He would come into town a lot," Hayworth said. "We'd see him walking around, going into stores. He usually walked with a friend a lot. She wasn't out here this morning."
After the accident, West Gannon Avenue, which is also NC-97, was closed during the early portion of the morning commute while officers worked the scene. The road reopened to traffic before 7:30 a.m.