ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A snow plow operator stands accused by police of hitting a woman and leaving her unconscious in the street.
The victim, Andrena Pollantis, is now in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Twp., Lehigh Co.
The plow driver, Keith K. Kichline, faces multiple charges, including failing to stop and render aid. Court documents show Kichline was driving with a suspended license.
Kichline was not employed by the city, according to Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's office.
Witnesses told police that Kichline, 49, actually got out of his truck and stood over the victim before getting back behind the wheel and fleeing.
"I just never thought it would happen to somebody like Andrena," said Pollantis' friend, ShaMara Sutton.
The accident happened Saturday evening as crews were clearing the year's first snowfall. According to a police report, Pollantis, 20, was crossing American Parkway at Linden Street in Allentown when Kichline's plow struck her.
"They said it was a direct hit, and she had flipped over the truck and landed in the middle of the street," said Sutton.
Although Kichline reportedly fled the scene, witnesses wrote down his license plate number. He was arrested that evening at his home.
"That's like leaving a dog in the street. After you hit him, you look at him and say, 'Oh it's just a dog,'" said Pollantis' mother, Gwen McNeil. "This is a human; this is my daughter."
This isn't Kichline's first brush with police. According to court records, he was pleaded guilty to failing to stop and render aid in June 2011. Kichline has also been charged with driving with a suspended license before as well as other traffic offenses.
Meantime, Pollantis' doctors said she has a long recovery ahead of her.
"She had broken her pelvic bone on both sides," said Sutton. "[She] broke her right leg, as well as her left arm."
McNeil is demanding answers from the plow driver.
"Why didn't you help my baby?", she asked. "You left her there to die."
She also wants to know why Allentown police never notified her of the accident.
"Nobody took the time to call me, let me know she was even hurt or anything," said McNeil.
"She had all her personal belongings on her at the time, so we were kind of just thrown off the the fact that we were not contacted until she regained consciousness in the hospital," Sutton said.
Kichline referred all questions to his attorney when reached by phone Monday night.
69 News was unable to reach Kichline's lawyer.
Allentown, PA 18102