Dillon woman run down on sidewalk, driver flees

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, August 25, 2021


A 72-yer-old Dillon woman hit by truck last Wednesday morning remains in serious condition this week, according to City of Dillon Chief of Police Don Guiberson. Guiberson said last week that the woman was walking down the sidewalk on North Montana Street near the Town Pump, when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by 27-year-old Michael N. Stathem.

“I have to say, there are a lot of good people in Dillon,” said Guiberson. “A lot of people stopped, a lot of people helped, the ambulance was great. The person has been life-flighted to another medical facility so that the proper procedures can be done to take care of very, very serious injuries.”

Tuesday morning, Guiberson said that the victim had undergone surgeries and was doing “as well as could be expected.”

Guiberson said that when responding officers arrived on the scene at approximately 9:30 a.m. last Wednesday, citizens had come to the aid of the victim. Witnesses told officers that the driver had fled the scene and provided excellent descriptions of the vehicle.

The officers quickly apprehended and arrested Stathem. At his initial appearance on Thursday bond was set at $75,000 and he was charged with six counts, including a felony. Charges include failure to render reasonable assistance at scene where person is injured, driving a motor vehicle while provilege to do so is suspended or revoked, owner premitting operation of vehicle without liability insurance, Failure to give notice of accident by quickest means/apparent damage over $1,000, careless driving involving death or serious bodily injury, and driver crossing sidewalk fails to yield right-of-way to pedestrian.

According to Clerk of Justice Court Cheryl Power, a preliminary hearing for Stathem has been set for Sept. 16. As of Tuesday morning, Stathem remained jailed at the Beaverhead County Detention Center.

According to Guiberson, there is a possibility of additional charges being filed in the case.

”I would just ask people to be aware all of the time,” concluded Guiberson. “Some times things just can’t be helped when you’re relying on other people. Driving in this manner, with disregard to safety, blows my mind.

“I commend the passersby. If good people are around when things happen, it makes the situation a lot better.”