Officials say the driver hit a man working in the roadway near Martin Luther King Drive and the Highway 99 overpass.
The man suffered major injuries, police said.
Investigators believe the suspect was driving a silver Volkswagen that has four doors and a sunroof. The vehicle could have damage to the front driver side and a missing rearview mirror on the right side.
Police released a photo of the suspect's vehicle from surveillance footage. Anyone with information is asked to call the Merced Police Department.