Winnipeg police say the man found in the middle of the road early Sunday morning remains in critical condition. 

Two bystanders found the man in the intersection of Talbot Avenue and Panet Road at about 1:45 a.m. They "then tried to block traffic from … hitting this individual until police arrived," said Const. Jay Murray. 

He may have been the victim of a hit-and-run, said Murray, but investigators said the "circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown at this time."

"I don't think there's another word, but coward is probably the right word for an individual who commits this crime. We've seen a number of them this year," said Murray.

He added that police have been searching for a vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run on Cumberland Ave earlier this summer.

"So here's another incident where another individual is critically injured. I don't believe investigators have spoken to this person yet. So we don't know for sure if this is a hit-and-run, but we believe it is at this time."

Talbot panet police

Winnipeg police at the scene of Panet Road and Talbot Avenue. (Bob Sawatsky/Facebook)

Forensic work needs to be completed before police can confirm or deny a hit-and-run, he added, noting the rain makes things harder for investigators. Police are also waiting to talk to the victim in hospital. 

Panet Road was closed from Regent Avenue West to Reenders Drive, as well as Talbot Avenue west of Panet Road until 12:30 p.m.

"Forensic evidence plays a huge role in those investigations. So we'll close down the roads and we'll do whatever it takes to leave no stone unturned and get all the evidence we can from that scene."

Murray said anyone with information should call the police at 204-986-6271.

"If somebody's comes home with a damaged vehicle and might not have a reasonable explanation for that damage, if something doesn't feel right, it doesn't hurt to give us a call."