Woman in Critical Condition after Pedestrian Versus Pickup Accident

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DES MOINES, Iowa-- A 34-year-old woman is in critical condition Tuesday night after being hit by a pickup truck in Beaverdale.

Police say Richelle Merrifield was struck while crossing the street at 44th and Urbandale Avenue around 3:30 a.m.

The driver, 56-year-old Kenneth Fugate, stopped and called police.

“The driver didn't leave. There was nothing criminal on his part as far as that goes,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Investigators are still trying to determine what happened. They say it’s too early to tell if speed or any other factors played a role in the accident.

“If it's just a bad accident, an unfortunate set of circumstances, then usually we don't file any charges,” said Parizek.

Merrifield was rushed to Methodist Hospital where she underwent surgery for “serious," but unknown injuries.

“It's very upsetting to have something like that happen,” said Cora Hallock.

Merrifield was hit in front of Hallock's house. She says even with the street lights, it’s hard to see at night.

“It's pretty dark out. They're light, but with the trees out and everything, it’s dark,” said Hallock.

Online records show that Fugate lives about six blocks from where accident scene. He could not be reached for comment.