A man was arrested after allegedly striking a 70-year-old pedestrian and fleeing the scene on foot Tuesday afternoon in Rice Lake.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said the woman suffered a life-threatening head injury and was taken by ambulance to a Duluth hospital after being struck by an SUV on the 5000 block of Arnold Road shortly before 4:30 p.m.

The driver, 33, had fled the scene by the time authorities arrived and was arrested a short distance away, the sheriff's office said. He was being processed into the St. Louis County Jail on preliminary charges of criminal vehicular operation and driving while impaired. The News Tribune typically does not name suspects until they have been formally charged.

The sheriff's office said identities were expected to be released Wednesday after the notification of family members. Both the suspect and victim were said to reside in the Rice Lake area.

The Minnesota State Patrol was assisting in the crash-scene investigation.