A 41-year-old Limerick man is being held on $25,000 cash bail in the hit-and-run death of a jogger in Limerick on July 4, according to court documents.

William R. George told police that he swerved to avoid striking a squirrel, but a friend of George’s said he has a history of heroin and prescription opioid use, and that he was likely under the influence of drugs when the crash took place.

George made his first appearance Friday in York County Superior Court on a single charge of causing a vehicle-related death while his license was suspended, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

He is accused of striking and killing John T. Mullin, 54, of Wilmington, Massachusetts, on Washington Street in Limerick, according to an affidavit filed by York County Sheriff’s Deputy Duane K. Fay.

Police allege that George, who has not had a valid driver’s license since at least 2011, ran the car he was driving up over a granite curb and onto the sidewalk shortly before noon on July 4. Mullin was struck in the legs and thrown into the air, damaging George’s windshield.

Mullin was eventually transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he died from his injuries.

Instead of stopping, George drove off, according to multiple witnesses at the scene who were interviewed by authorities, police said.

About 10 minutes after the crash, George returned to the scene of the incident, approached Fay and admitted he was behind the wheel of the light blue Ford Taurus wagon when the crash took place.

“It was me,” George told the officer, according to the affidavit. “I was the one that hit that man.”

When he was asked what happened, George said he saw a squirrel in the roadway and swerved. He told police he did not stop because he does not have a driver’s license and was scared.

According to a publicly available version of his driving record, George’s license was suspended in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2011, each time for failing to pay a fine from a previous infraction. After the crash, police interviewed Robin Lacasse, the owner of the car George was driving, who said George had taken the vehicle without her permission, and that he had a history of drug use. Lacasse told investigators that she believes George veered from the roadway because he had fallen asleep from opiate use. George has not been charged with any drug-related crimes, but a search of his publicly available criminal record shows he was convicted of trafficking in illegal drugs in 2006 and served six months of a three-year sentence followed by three years probation.

Following the first appearance Friday, George was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail. His next appearance is slated for Oct. 10 in York County Superior Court.