Pedestrian in critical condition following early morning hit and run

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police are investigating whether working streetlights could have prevented a pedestrian traffic accident early Wednesday.

Police say a 34-year-old Kansas City man suffered severe head injuries around 3:30 a.m. after an SUV  hit him on Cleaver II Boulevard near 71 Highway.

Police say the man was pushing a BMX bike in the street, instead of walking on the sidewalk, which was only a few feet away from him.

Police tell FOX 4 that an 18-year-old woman had just finished working at Taco Bell and was driving home in the right westbound lane when she hit the man. The teen told police she never saw him until she hit him. Investigators say the streetlights were not working in this area, making the stretch of road extremely dark.

“If the lights had been functioning, maybe she would have seen him on the roadway,” said Sgt. Deb Randol of the police accident investigation unit. “Again, we don’t know why he was on the roadway, pushing his bicycle, he could have used the sidewalk.”

Crews were out Wednesday morning checking the streetlights along Cleaver II Boulevard. They appeared to be working. The city public works department tells FOX 4 it had not received a report of a streetlight outage.

Some of the streetlights near 71 Highway belong to the state, and the city is checking to determine whether the malfunctioning lights were city streetlights or state lights.

Police say the driver was pretty shook up by the crash. She told officers she wasn’t sure where she was, but drove to the nearest police station to report the accident.

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