A BART employee made his initial appearance in court Thursday to face vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for hitting and killing a pedestrian with his transit agency service truck earlier this month in South San Francisco, prosecutors said. Joaquin Duarte Jr., 52, a systems service foreworker for BART, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the collision reported early on the morning of April 5 in the 1500 block of El Camino Real, according to South San Francisco police.

A pedestrian, identified by the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office as William King, 45, of South San Francisco, was trying to cross the southbound lanes of El Camino Real near the intersection to the entrance to a Costco store parking lot when he was hit, the county District Attorney’s Office said.

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Security footage showed the collision and flight of the BART service truck. Duarte allegedly returned the truck to a BART service area and reported he had struck an animal on Interstate Highway 880 in the East Bay, but police detectives over the next two weeks eventually identified him as the hit-and-run suspect, prosecutors said. Duarte, a resident of Newman in Stanislaus County, did not enter a plea at his initial court appearance Thursday and the arraignment was continued to May 25, prosecutors said.

His defense attorney was not immediately available to comment on the case.

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