A 44-year-old man is in critical condition after a hit and run incident near the intersection of Seventh Street and Cedar Street on the west side of Traverse City.
According to Traverse City Police, a witness was walking just before midnight on Wednesday on the south sidewalk of Seventh Street when he saw a man lying in the street. The witness called police and said the man seemed unresponsive.
Accident re-constructionists have been working through the night with evidence technicians and said it appears the victim, Richard McClellan Jr., of Kalkaska, was walking eastbound on Seventh Street about 10 feet from the south curb near Cedar Street.
Police said McClellan was hit from behind and ended up approximately 5 feet from the curb where the witnesses found him. The car that hit him left the scene continuing east on Seventh Street.
"I know accidents happen, like we all make mistakes but it really scares me that someone would make that decision to flee," said Eliza Forrest, a 7th Street resident.
"It's scary to think you know, we ride our bikes and walk the dogs and stuff all the time, it's worrisome to know that there's people out there that will just drive off like that," said another 7th Street resident, Alyssa Land.
McClellan was taken to Munson Medical Center where he is currently on a ventilator and listed in critical condition. Neighbors had mentioned that the man seemed to be wearing hospital socks with a hospital bracelet before he was hit by the car. Officials at Munson were able to confirm that the man was a patient in the Emergency Room Wednesday evening before the incident. They are unable to comment about what he was being treated for.
A witness has described seeing a white, 4-door pick up truck in the area at the time of the incident. The witness believed it may have been a GMC possibly from 2010-2011.
"Whether they were involved in the crash, or a witness to the crash, that's yet to be determined," said Capt. Brian Heffner of the Traverse City Police Department.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Traverse City Police Department at 231-995-5152 or by calling the anonymous tips line at 231-947-8477.
This is the second hit and run investigation in the past month in Traverse City. Kelly Hurlbert was killed in a hit and run on Washington Street in Traverse City on July 5. No arrests have been made in that case.
"There are a number of reasons that maybe have initially caused them to think they needed to leave the scene, but how an individual cannot come to the police or come to a friend after such a time frame and report the incident still amazes me," said Capt. Heffner.