THE Ohio State Highway Patrol has identified the hit-and-run accident victim who was found dead Wednesday morning along U.S. 40 east of St. Clairsville. He is 31-year-old Jason Cattane of Bridgeport. The family has been notified and authorities are continuing their investigation and search for the suspect.
The vehicle which struck Cattane has been found and is being held at the post. Evidence from the vehicle has been processed, according to a state trooper.
According to a release from the State Patrol, Cattane was walking along the shoulder of U.S. 40 at North Ebbert Road when a driver struck him and kept going.
Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they have a suspect based on evidence from the scene. The suspect's name has not yet been released.
The evidence was processed Wednesday by a crash reconstructionist and investigators from the Cambridge office of the State Patrol. Evidence was collected and sent to a crime lab in Columbus. The results will then be given to the Belmont County Prosecutor's office for review.
Cattane's body was discovered by a high school student who was out for a run around 6 a.m. Aaron Ebbert, a junior at St. Clairsville High School, said that when he saw shoes in the middle of the road, he had a suspicion that something else was up. He turned around, went up to the house, got his mother, and they called 911.
Belmont County Sheriff's deputies and troopers from the St. Clairsville Post arrived at the scene and found the man dead from what they called a pedestrian hit-skip crash. Also at the scene were the Cumberland Trail Emergency Squad and the Belmont County Coroner and Assistant Coroner.
A news release from the patrol said that it was apparent the man had been struck by a motor vehicle and the vehicle left the scene.
Cattane's driver's license said he is from Maynard, and officials said his family resides in Bridgeport. His body was taken to East Ohio Regional Hospital.
The patrol is asking anyone with information to contact them at (740) 695-0915.