MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A young runner on a Lake Calhoun trail was seriously injured after an SUV ran over her and dragged her about 20 feet.
The trails around Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun are popular with runners and walkers. But an SUV left the street and charged down a path meant for pedestrians Monday afternoon near West Calhoun Parkway and West 36th Street.
A woman in her 20s never saw or heard it coming. Benton Johnson says the runner was hit from behind and then dragged.
"Me and her were running parallel," Johnson said. "I started to pass her a little bit on the right side and then all of a sudden [a] white flash passed me … and then I see a big white SUV."
Johnson saw her body roll from underneath the SUV.
"Everything stopped. I ripped my headphones out, I went down to her and [her] face was covered in blood, and she looked at me and told me she didn't want to die," Johnson said. "I just … screamed for help and a lot of other runners or people around the park came running."
The victim was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with broken bones and other injuries. People who saw the SUV coming were able to get out of its path.
"A lot of them said they jumped out of the way because the SUV kept going down the trail. People with dogs, people with children were all along the trail," Johnson said.
Minneapolis police say when the driver finally came to a stop, officers called for an ambulance. The driver, later identified as 65-year-old Rebecca Averill of Tracy, appeared to be having a medical emergency.
Johnson says he does not know the runner who was hit, but he wants her to know that many people are concerned about her.
"I just really want to make sure she's OK, that we were there for her and that … a lot of people care about her right now," he said.
The victim's name has not been released, but WCCO was told she is expected to survive.
Police are still investigating.
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