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A Pine Ridge man was killed in a hit-and-run early Tuesday morning, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol.  

Cody White Pipe, 21, was hit by an unknown vehicle on U.S. Highway 18 about five miles east of Vetal, said Lt. David Berkely of South Dakota Highway Patrol. 

A passer-by saw him lying on the side of the highway at about 5 a.m. and called 911, according to a release from the South Dakota Attorney General's Office. Emergency officials responded as the caller waited with White Pipe until help arrived. 

White Pipe was taken to the Bennett County Hospital in an ambulance, which is about 20 miles from where he was struck, according to a release from the Attorney General's Office.

White died Tuesday morning from his injuries, Berkely said. It is being investigated as hit-and-run, he said.

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Investigators are trying to determine how much time passed between White Pipe's being struck, the passer-by's calling 911 and when the ambulance arrived at the hospital.

"We're still trying to piece together what happened out there and gather any information we can," he said. 

The Highway Patrol, the Bennett County Sheriff's Office and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the incident and are asking for the public's assistance in finding the driver of the vehicle.

Anyone who can identify the vehicle that struck White Pipe or the driver is encouraged to contact the DCI Tip Line at 605-394-1884 or call the DCI at 605-394-2258.

A funeral service for White Pipe will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge.

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Contact Scott Feldman at 394-8337 or scott.feldman@rapidcityjournal.com

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