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Driver arrested over dribbler death

A driver suspected of killing a man trying to dribble a football 10,000 miles from Seattle to Brazil for the World Cup has been arrested, police said.

Scott Van Hiatt, of Neskowin, Oregon, was arrested on a charge of criminally negligent homicide, said Lincoln City police chief Keith Kilian.

Richard Swanson, of Seattle, had planned to dribble the ball for more than a year through 11 countries before reaching Sao Paolo, Brazil, where the opening game of the World Cup will be played on June 12 next year.

He was hit from behind by a pick-up truck while walking south along the busy US 101 highway on May 14, just a few days before his 43rd birthday. Hiatt stayed at the scene and has been co-operative with the investigation, police said.

Hiatt was indicted by a Lincoln County grand jury last week. He is jailed on 50,000 dollars bail pending arraignment, said Lincoln County district attorney Rob Bovett.

Mr Swanson started his intercontinental journey in Seattle on May 1. He was partly promoting the California-based One World Futbol Project, which donates durable blue balls to people in developing countries.

The day of his death, Mr Swanson posted a video on his Facebook page that shows him walking along the beach, kicking his blue football. He said he was looking forward to his journey south along US 101.

"Very exciting moment today," he said. "I'm going to be on the ocean for thousands of miles. This is my first taste of it and I'm very excited about this."

In an earlier interview with a Seattle TV station, Mr Swanson joked that he hoped he would not be run over on the coastal road. "I'll be on Highway 101, but I'll also try to utilise any of the trails that run along the coast, just trying to get off the beaten path - there's a lot of cars - and just not get run over," he told Q13 FOX News.

Mr Kilian said police do not believe Mr Swanson was dribbling the ball at the time he was hit. He declined to elaborate on the circumstances that led to the crash.

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