A 33-year-old Hyattsville man has been arrested and charged in the death of a retired storekeeper who was killed Saturday in a hit-and-run accident as he crossed Rockville Pike, Montgomery County police said yesterday.

Police said Joel Dewey Corley of the 5600 block of 30th Avenue was arrested Saturday and charged with homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated in connection with the death of Milton Werber.

Werber, who lived in the 12000 block of Old Georgetown Road, was fatally injured when he was struck by a car in the southbound lane of Rockville Pike as he crossed at the intersection with Randolph Road, police said.

Werber's son Morton said last night that his father was listed officially as 83 years old but may have been four years older.

The accident, which occurred about 5:15 a.m., came as the elder Werber was crossing the Pike to buy a newspaper and a cup of coffee at a supermarket.

Morton Werber said his father was physically active and was "in the habit of getting up very, very early and going for walks."

Family members said that they recognized that heavy traffic made the intersection dangerous for pedestrians, but they said that the elder Werber "was independent" and "just loved to walk."

Despite the hazards, "he did what he wanted," his son said.

He called his father's death "something very violent that happened to a gentle person."

The elder Werber was born in Poland early in this century and came to this country by way of Argentina about 60 years ago.

He operated first a grocery store and then a liquor store at 11th and P streets NW, and he continued to visit the neighborhood after his retirement in 1968, the son said.

After Werber was struck, a witness followed an automobile and gave police a description and a tag number, police said.

Within about two hours, police said, a car that appeared to fit the description was located in the Wheaton area, where it had been involved in an accident.

Police said Corley was arrested and charged Saturday night. In addition to the charge of homicide by motor vehicle, police issued seven traffic citations, a spokesman said.

They said Corley was ordered held in lieu of $15,000 cash bond.

A woman who answered the telephone at the address police provided for Corley said last night that she believed that he was not driving the vehicle that struck Werber.

"I feel that he was not," the woman said. She declined to identify herself or to elaborate, but she said that "the truth has not all {come} out."

Werber received massive head injuries in the incident and was taken to Suburban Hospital.

Despite what relatives said were vigorous efforts by a hospital trauma team to keep him alive, he died there at 4:30 p.m. The relatives said the death occurred only one-half hour before the arrival of a daughter who came by air from San Diego.