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Kalamazoo man trying to clear road debris hit by vehicle that drove off

Hitandruntreeclear.PNG
Kalamazoo man trying to clear road debris hit by vehicle that drove off.

A man attempting to clear some debris from a Kalamazoo County road was hit on Tuesday morning and police are searching for the vehicle.

The fierce winds that whipped across West Michigan all day brought down several trees and power lines and a 29-year-old Kalamazoo man was clearing a branch that had fallen across 29th St. near E. R Ave. when he was hit by a vehicle that drove off.

Deputies are searching for the driver who fled the scene in Pavilion Township and Newschannel 3's Nicky Zizaza spoke with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office about the hit and run.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff James VanDyken said, "It was a low-light situation and it was dark out and the vehicle was there for just a matter of seconds and then left."

The victim of the crash is recovering as investigators search for the driver.

VanDyken says it started with strong winds early Tuesday morning.

He said, "It appears that the wind blew a branch or some type of object from a tree that was blocking the road, where the driver stopped to remove or discharge that branch in the roadway."

It was during that process a driver in a light green Pontiac or Oldsmobile crashed into him.

VanDyken said, "While they were stopped and on foot another vehicle came along and struck them and then fled the scene."

Barbara Comstock, who has lived near this intersection for 47 years, says it doesn't come as a shock.

She said, "They drive too fast on 29th and R Avenue, they go like a streak of lightning."

Comstock says changes to the intersection are long overdue

She said, "Have the railroad company put that they have to slow down and stop.”

Meanwhile police caution drivers clearing debris in a roadway

VanDyken said, "If you can do it safely, if it is something small it is up to that person judgment to do. If it is something large, we call the road commission and have them come out and move the branch or that item from the tree."

Again, the suspect was traveling in an older model light green Pontiac or Oldsmobile that may have front end damage.

The victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office or Silent Observer.