TRAVERSE CITY — Police have identified a person of interest in Saturday’s hit-and-run death of a 71-year-old pedestrian.
But they did not share information about this person Monday.
“Right now, the detective bureau is completing search warrants, following up with witnesses,” Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department Capt. Chris Clark said Monday morning. “We’re just trying to gather more information as to what occurred prior to the crash, during the crash and after the crash.”
The sun had set and dusk fallen when the man crossed U.S. 31 North on foot near Sugar Beach Resort Hotel just after 10:15 p.m.
A westbound vehicle struck the pedestrian, who hours later died of his injuries at Munson Medical Center.
The driver, witnesses told law enforcement, pulled off into a nearby business and fled the scene on foot, leaving behind a Chevy Equinox detectives have since recovered.
Several witnesses confronted the driver in the parking lot, Clark said Sunday.
Investigators are also pursuing potential surveillance footage from businesses near the area, just west of Four Mile Road, and canvassing in an effort to identify other witnesses.
The 71-year-old was visiting the area with family, Clark said.
He declined to say where the family had been staying or whether he was crossing the road accompanied or alone.
The death comes one day past the six-year anniversary of the hit-and-run death of local Kelly Ann Boyce.
Boyce was 29 when she was struck and killed while riding her bicycle home in the early morning hours of July 5, 2013.
A witness who heard Boyce’s screams as she was dragged along the street described the vehicle as a dark SUV or pickup truck. But, despite investigating hundreds of tips, police have found little success identifying suspects or substantial leads.
Traverse City Police Capt. Keith Gillis said Friday that the department isn’t looking into anything new in the case, but anyone who knows something to contact police.
Drivers and pedestrians alike should take extra caution during the area’s busiest summer months, said Capt. Jim Bussell.
“We pile hundreds of thousands of people into our community, and most of them have vehicles,” he said. “Not to mention that people are on vacation — they’re celebrating. Between the drugs and alcohol and not paying attention, it creates that type of environment.”
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