The crash was reported before 3:30 a.m. near Guy Road between Garner and Clayton. The man who was hit was taken to WakeMed with serious life-threatening injuries, officials said. He was alert and conscious on the way to the hospital.
The driver told troopers at the scene that he saw something in the road but did not have time to avoid it. He thought it was a deer but turned around when he saw a man in the road.
Troopers believe the pedestrian may have been impaired when he was struck, and the driver will not be charged.