Harold McLinton, who played linebacker for the Washington Redskins for 10 years, was injured critically last night when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was standing alongside a parked car on the shoulder of Rte. 295 in far Southeast, D.C., police reported.
The 33-year-old Silver Spring resident was flown by U.S. Park Police helicopter to the Medstar unit at the Washington Hospital Center, where according to one official account, he was in "very critical" condition early today after receiving 30 pints of blood.
McLinton suffered an extensive fracture of the pelvis as well as fracture of the left leg and possible other injuries, according to a nursing supervisor at the hospital where he was brought shortly before 11 p.m. in what was described as a "barely conscious" state.
According to D.C. police, the incident occurred about 10:15 p.m. on the northbound side of Rte. 295 near Portland Street as the 6-foot-2 inch former Redskin defender was standing alongside the automobile of a woman whose car was parked on the shoulder of the road behind his own.
Police said a dark-colored, standard-size auto struck McLinton, pushing him against the side of the woman's car.
The dark-colored auto continued on and police said they were searching for it early today.
The section of the road where the incident occurred was described by authorities as without lights and relatively dark. Investigators said that neither of the two parked cars was on the roadway and that McLinton was standing off the road as he talked to the woman in the car parked behind his.
There was no immediate indication of why McLinton or the woman had stopped their vehicles at that point in the road last night.
D.C. police asked anyone who might have seen the incident to telephone them at 727-4443.
McLinton, a native of Fort Valley, Ga., attended Southern University and joined the Redskins March 27, 1969 after being selected in the sixth round of the 1969 draft.
He was dropped on the eve of the 1979 season after pulling a calf muscle in one of the last exhibition games.
During his 10 seasons on the team, he played in 127 National Football League games, at one time taking part at the middle linebacker position in every game for four consecutive years, and winning a reputation as a relatively unsung defensive mainstay who got the job done and played despite injuries.
Originally an outside linebacker, McLinton moved into the middle in 1972. He was credited with four interceptions and seven recoveries of fumbles, and the leg fracture he suffered in the 13th game of the 1974 season, against Los Angeles, hurt the Redskins in the playoffs.
The holder of a bachelor of science degree in marketing, McLinton, while still with the Redskins, had begun an offseason job with Metro as a youth service specialist.
Recently he had been involved in a Metro program aimed at curbing vandalism.
In 1979, shortly after his Redskins career ended. McLinton helped coach the University of the District of Columbia football team.