A 22-year-old man is dead and Durham Regional Police are looking for the driver of a minivan after a deadly hit-and-run in North Pickering.

“We believe that the damage is going to be on the front lower corner, on the passenger side,” Detective Constable Bill Scott said.

Police say they were called to the scene near Taunton and Altona roads at 12:35 a.m. Saturday. It is believed the young man had been struck just minutes earlier.

“The 9-1-1 call came in from a friend of the deceased. We believe at this point that the friend was on his way to that intersection to pick him up, and when the friend got there, found the deceased in the intersection,” Det. Const. Scott said.

Police say the 22-year-old Toronto man called his friend shortly after he left a party in the rural area. When the friend arrived at the intersection, he found the victim, severely injured, in the eastbound lanes of Taunton Road. The young man was pronounced dead at the scene once emergency workers arrived

“It’s sad. It’s very sad, you know? It’s a loss of life,” Bob White said, who lives in the nearby hamlet of Whitevale, Ont.

The driver who struck the pedestrian did not remain at the scene, and took off in an easterly direction.

“Obviously disappointed when somebody runs like that, right?” Elyssa Glazier, who lives close by, said. “You kind of want to see people stick around for the crime that they do.”

The area is relatively unpopulated. However, those who live in the general vicinity say given the location, they’re not surprised someone on foot would have been struck.

“It’s not a lit area. There’s a lot of speeding along here and, you know, it doesn’t surprise me,” Sarah Cranfield said. “But it surprises me someone was walking at that time of night.”

“It’s hard for drivers to see people walking around. They don’t expect to see somebody there,” neighbour Russ Glazier added.

Police say the suspect vehicle left a piece behind in the collision.

“There’s a piece of plastic that runs on the inner part of the wheel well that will be missing on our suspect vehicle,” Detective Constable Bill Scott said.

Investigators are now looking for a dark-coloured 2004 or 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan.

Durham Regional Police are asking anyone who has any information, or who may have been recording dash cam video, to contact them or Crimes Stoppers anonymously.