TRAVERSE CITY — Police continue to search for a motorist who struck and critically injured a hospital patient who had walked away from Munson Medical Center, an incident that looms as the city’s second unsolved hit-and-run case in as many months.
Richard McClellan Jr., 44, of Kalkaska, was unresponsive when a pedestrian found him in the road near the intersection of Seventh and Cedar streets. His condition at Munson Medical Center was upgraded Friday to serious, but police have not been able to speak with him.
Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said detectives received about 10 tips on the case and inspected numerous white pickup trucks in the neighborhood — a witness saw a white four-door or extended cab GMC pickup truck, possibly a 2010 or 2011 model, speed away east toward Division Street after the incident.
“We’ve followed through on all of them, but so far nothing’s come of it,” Ayling said.
The incident is the second hit-and-run in Traverse City this summer that killed or seriously injured the victim. An unidentified motorist struck and killed Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, on July 5 as she pedaled her bicycle on Washington Street. Police had no immediate indication the two incidents are related.
McClellan was checked into Munson’s emergency department Wednesday before the incident. Hospital spokesman Dale Killingbeck said McClellan “walked out against medical advice” but declined to comment on whether he was officially released from care, citing medical privacy laws.
Ayling said he understood McClellan was “treated and released” from the hospital.
Police believe McClellan left the hospital and walked east on Seventh Street and was in the road when the driver struck him at about 11:45 p.m. Authorities have not determined whether McClellan was crossing, standing or walking in the street.
Ayling said police haven’t ruled out the possibility of a suicide attempt.