MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis traffic control agent is seriously hurt after a hit-and-run on the job.

Police say just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, 48-year-old Noutong Lee was hit by a car near the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lagoon Avenue in Uptown.

Lee remains hospitalized.

“He’s a hard worker. He’s a nice guy. He keeps to himself, but he’s a nice guy,” said Jennifer Schlosser.

As soon as she got the news, Schlosser’s thoughts turned to her friend and former co-worker, Noutong Lee.

“I teared up thinking of him and his family and bringing up memories of my own. It’s a very emotional day, today,” said Schlosser.

Because in so many ways, Schlosser knows what it’s like to be the victim.

On Sept. 12, 2016, a driver hit her while she was directing traffic in downtown Minneapolis. She suffered life-changing injuries.

“Instantly, I thought I was paralyzed. I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. But I’ve had ACL reconstruction, and I also had tears on my labrum hips,” said Schlosser. “I’m going on my third surgery next week.”

The driver in Schlosser’s case stopped and was charged. But police are still searching for the person who hit Lee.

“With a collision resulting in this much injury it is absolutely believable that the driver knew they hit somebody,” said John Elder, spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department.

Police said Lee was wearing reflective clothing and was standing near a parked vehicle when he was hit. The driver didn’t stop and continued northbound on Hennepin Avenue.

“We are believing that speed and reckless driving are a couple of factors resulting in this crash,” said Elder.

Investigators took evidence from the scene Wednesday night. Minneapolis police are searching for the vehicle and driver. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477, the MPD tip line at 612-692-8477, or text CrimeStoppers at 847411. Enter “MPD” and space before providing information if submitting a tip via text message.

John Lauritsen