Following an alleged hit-and-run that left a Kalispell teen shaken and sore Tuesday morning, one local man is receiving praise for stepping up to help while the culprit remains at large.
Cody Anderson, a 15-year-old Flathead High School student, was riding his bicycle down Sixth Street West, crossing Third Avenue East, when he reportedly rode past a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The front right corner of the car clipped Anderson’s bike, knocking him to the ground.
While dropping off safety cones at a nearby road construction site, Josiah Sheeran, a 21-year-old construction worker, said he saw Anderson hit the pavement and rushed over to help.
Sheeran said he was helping the boy to his feet when the driver, described as a white-haired woman in her 70s, stopped a short way up the road and backed up, asking the teen if he had any broken bones.
Still shaking, according to Sheeran, Anderson told her he did not, at which time the woman allegedly scolded him for not looking both ways for traffic and drove away.
Anderson said he was on his way to a driver’s education class at Flathead High School when the incident occurred. Sheeran said he noticed the teen was “shaken pretty bad” and offered to drive him the rest of the way to the high school.
After loading Anderson’s busted bike into the bed of his truck, Sheeran dropped Anderson off and called police to relay the information he had on the woman.
Then, Sheeran took the bike to Wheaton’s bicycle shop to have it repaired and returned.
Anderson sat through 15 minutes of his driver’s education class before informing the instructor he’d been hit by a car and calling his mother.
Anderson’s mother, Shauna Lin Sunde, picked him up and started her own search for the woman who had hit her son, posting on multiple social media websites.
Sunde said the teen suffered no injuries other than some bruising and soreness. She praised Sheeran for helping her son, calling him a hero and thanking him repeatedly.
According to Kalispell Police Sgt. Chad Zimmerman, an investigation revealed the incident to be Anderson’s fault for failing to stop at a stop sign.
Zimmerman said the woman would not be charged had she stayed at the scene, but the case is now classified as a hit-and-run.
The woman, seen driving a dark blue or green mid- to late-’90s Subaru Outback, has not yet been located. Zimmerman added that the vehicle will likely have minor damage to the right front bumper from hitting the bike.
So far, officers have pulled over a few suspect vehicles and will continue to search, though Zimmerman said he has a “gut feeling” that the woman did not intend any type of malice.
However, Zimmerman said the boy had visible injuries despite having no broken bones, and, by leaving the scene, the woman now faces hit-and-run charges and a charge of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.
Zimmerman said he still hopes the woman will call the department to deal with the incident voluntarily.
Anyone with information on the incident or the driver can contact Zimmerman by calling 758-7780 and selecting option two.
Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or email@example.com.