White Bear Lake woman making strides in recovery after hit-and-run in Wisconsin
A White Bear Lake woman is recovering in the hospital after she was the victim of a hit-and-run while visiting family in Wisconsin last weekend.
Officials say 36-year-old Emily Helseth was hit by a driver while walking home and left in the street with serious injuries. It happened in Westby, about three hours southeast of the Twin Cities.
Emily Boulay is still processing what happened to Helseth, her good friend.
“I love her so much, and I hate that I can’t be there all the time,” Boulay said.
Just before 3:30 Sunday morning, Westby Police received a call of a woman lying in the street next to “several pools of blood.” First responders rushed Helseth to the hospital, and she had hypothermia with several broken bones and a punctured lung.
“A lot of anger, hurt, confusion, I’m really confused,” Boulay said.
The criminal complaint says while Helseth was walking home, she was hit by someone on a UTV and instead of calling 911, law enforcement believes she was “dragged from the road to the snowbank” and the driver “took off at a high rate of speed”.
“I do not know that I’ve seen anything quite that egregious to indeed leave someone basically for dead. Very troubling,” said Vernon County Sheriff Roy Torgerson.
The suspected driver of the UTV is 22-year-old Mitchell McKittrick, who was arrested later that day and faces multiple felony charges.
“It was a who done it for quite some time,” Sheriff Torgerson said.
Vernon County Sheriff Roy Torgerson tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it was a team effort led by Westby Police and a key anonymous tip.
“Many crimes are often solved because of that one piece of the puzzle that we do not have,” Sheriff Torgerson said.
Boulay says Helseth often goes to Wisconsin to visit family. But while in the Twin Cities, she cares for her grandmother. Plus she works with people with mental illness and substance use disorders. As she makes strides to recover, loved ones just wish more people thought of others first.
“It’s hard not to wonder if someone had called 911 right away, if she wasn’t laying out in the cold all that time, could she have been spared some of her injuries?” Boulay said.
Loved ones have started a GoFundMe page to help Helseth through her recovery.