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College hockey: Northland player dies in possible hit and run

Northland College junior defenseman Chris Morgan died over the weekend, the alleged victim of a suspected hit and run near his home in suburban Detroit.

The body of Morgan, 22, was found Sunday morning in a ditch alongside Avon Road not far from his home in Rochester Hills, Mich., according to a news release from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

A woman staying at a motel in Orion Township told authorities investigating the hit-and-run death that she thought "she had hit a deer."

“The victim was discovered by family members who were looking for him when he did not return home on the previous evening. Deputies were dispatched to the area of Avon Road and Crooks, where they found family members along with the victim,” according to the release. A short time later, Morgan was pronounced dead at the scene.

How he ended up there seemed clear: He must have walked, family members told police.

“The family members on scene indicated the deceased attended a graduation party on Saturday night. He left the party in a vehicle with his girlfriend, his brother, and another female acquaintance," the sheriff's office said.

“Morgan got into an argument with his girlfriend at a traffic light at Avon Road and Adams Road, where he exited the vehicle and walked eastbound on Avon Road at around 10:45 p.m. This was the last time he was seen until his body was discovered on Sunday morning at around 11:30 a.m.”

Investigators say they believe he was killed at that location in a hit-and-run accident. A tipster led detectives to the Red Roof Inn, where they found a black Ford Fusion with substantial damage to the right front side of the vehicle, the release said. Police then questioned the Fusion owner.

“The owner of the car stated she believed she had hit a deer in the area of Avon and Adams on Saturday evening. The driver told investigators she had just dropped off a friend in Rochester Hills,” the release said, adding that the woman is not in custody. But police are still investigating.

“Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office” for possible charges, the release said.

Morgan, a 2013 graduate of Detroit Jesuit High School, played two seasons for the Lumberjacks hockey program in Ashland, posting two goals and five assists. He was a member of head coach Seamus Gregory’s first recruiting class at Northland in 2015.

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