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Troy woman accused of running over man with kids present

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | May 21, 2024 7:00 AM

A Troy woman is accused of running over a man with a truck while two small children were inside the vehicle.

Helen Palmer faces four charges, including two for criminal endangerment, one for assault with a weapon, and one for failure to stop and remain at the scene of involving death or serious bodily injury.

Palmer was arrested by Troy Police officer Mike Miller at about 6:17 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the intersection of Third Street and Yaak Avenue in Troy.

She is being held in the Lincoln County Detention Center on $50,000 bail.

According to Miller’s report, he was called to the location for a reported pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Dispatch said a female driver allegedly hit the man and was standing over him. Miller reported that when he arrived the woman had left and he saw the man laying on the ground. The man said Palmer had hit him.

The man told officer Miller that Palmer told him to get out of the car, told him to walk and then ran over him. He also said Palmer came over and allegedly told him she would kill him if he didn’t get up. The man said Palmer had been drinking and coming down off meth.

Officer Miller said two children were in the truck at the time of the incident. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Bryce Ford told officer Miller that there was a witness to the alleged incident. Miller spoke to the witness who said, “the lady drove and smacked him and he went flying.”

The witness also said Palmer pulled off to the side of the road, came and stood over the man before speeding away.

After the man was transported from the scene by ambulance, officer Miler began to search for the woman.

At about 9:30 p.m., Troy Police Chief Katie Davis said security cameras may have caught the incident. When officer Miller viewed the video footage, he reported seeing a Dodge pickup pull over to the right hand side of the road on Yaak Avenue. He saw the man get out of the truck and began to walk away, but Palmer allegedly spun tires, causing dirt to fly before swerving and striking the man.

The officer reported that Palmer got out of the truck, stood over the man and left.

At about 10:42 p.m., officer Miller saw the truck at a residence. After calling for backup, county deputy Chris Pape went to the home. The officers saw Palmer asleep in the driver’s seat of the truck. After reading Palmer her rights, she spoke to officer Miller, according to the charging document.

Palmer allegedly told the officer the man asked to be let out of the truck. She said she was, “(profanity) off and when she went to leave, the man jumped in front of the truck.”

Palmer was arrested and taken to the county jail in Libby.

A conviction for assault with a weapon may result in a 20-year term in the Montana State Prison. Convictions for criminal endangerment and not stopping and remaining at the scene may result in 10-year prison terms.