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Woman hospitalized after being dragged under SUV on Higgins Ave

Woman hospitalized after being dragged under SUV on Higgins Ave

Bike Car Accident

A bicycle lies mangled under a large SUV after a cyclist was dragged under the vehicle for nearly a block on South Higgins Avenue Wednesday afternoon. The woman was hospitalized and an investigation is ongoing.

A cyclist is hospitalized after she was dragged under a Chevrolet Suburban for nearly a block on Higgins Avenue Wednesday afternoon, according to authorities.

Missoula Police Lt. Eddie McLean said officers were called to the parking lot on the 600 block of South Higgins Avenue, where a woman and her bicycle were trapped under the vehicle. The vehicle had come to a stop just outside the Green Source — owner Jess Maisel said she did not see the wreckage, but did witness several people rush to the vehicle to try to lift the heavy SUV. Others quickly swarmed the tires with jacks from their own cars to lift it enough to retrieve the woman, Maisel said. 

"People really jumped in and tried to help," Maisel said. 

McLean said a 49-year-old man is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation, although no arrests or citations had been issued when he spoke with the Missoulian Wednesday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing, he said. Missoula fire and medical personnel, as well as Montana Highway Patrol, were assisting police on scene.

The crash site closed down the southbound lane on the block as investigators used a scanner to capture images of the scene. Four or five jacks remained under the vehicle, as well as the woman's bike.  

Lt. J.C. Denton said roughly 30 people had dashed to the Suburban to try to lift it. He compared the response to that of the 2014 avalanche in the Rattlesnake neighborhood, where dozens flocked to the snow-covered street and demolished home to help dig out those buried in the slide. 

"When we arrived, no less than 30 people were here trying to help," he said. "It shows the resolve of Missoula."

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A GoFundMe page set up for Julia Johnson's recovery has raised more than $9,000 since it was set up on July 20. Information on the page states her medical needs could reach $50,000.

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