Maybe Terann A. Hoptowit wanted some fresh air. Or maybe he was headed to the store for some cigarettes. For whatever reason, Hoptowit, 44, was walking down Highway 164 when he was struck by a car and killed Saturday night. The incident, which occurred on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation near Auburn, was a hit-and-run. State...

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Maybe Terann A. Hoptowit wanted some fresh air. Or maybe he was headed to the store for some cigarettes.

For whatever reason, Hoptowit, 44, was walking down Highway 164 when he was struck by a car and killed Saturday night.

The incident, which occurred on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation near Auburn, was a hit-and-run. State troopers are still searching for the driver.

Marie Starr, Hoptowit’s aunt, said he lived off the highway near where his body was found.

He was a good kid who’d had a hard life, she said, but he’d been starting to turn it around.

Hoptowit was a member of the Muckleshoot Tribe and grew up on the reservation. His mother died when he was a toddler, Starr said, and since then he’d lived with extended family and at a tribal group home, and had also had problems with drugs and alcohol.

But recently, she said he’d been looking for a job and had been fixing up his home.

Starr said he’d often come to her house to help stack wood or cut the grass, or just stop by for coffee.

“We’re going to really miss him,” she said.

Police are looking for witnesses to the hit-and-run. Anyone who has more information about it should call Detective Russ Haake at 425-401-7717 or 425-401-7740.

Carly Flandro: 206-464-2108 or cflandro@seattletimes.com