A Duluth woman suffered several broken bones and will have to undergo intensive therapy to learn how to walk again after being pinned under a car and dragged approximately 50 feet on Sunday, her mother said Tuesday.
Alyssa Donahue, 19, was injured in the unusual incident outside her home on Springvale Road in the city's Piedmont Heights neighborhood.
"She's lucky to be alive," Lisa Donahue told the News Tribune on Tuesday as her daughter was undergoing a six-hour surgery to repair structural damage to her legs, the second surgery she has undergone since Sunday.
She said Alyssa was attempting to move her car, which had a dead battery, from the garage at the time of the incident. She had placed the vehicle in neutral and was pushing it when it picked up too much speed on the sloped driveway and was headed toward a neighbor's house, her mother said.
"Her first reaction was to try to stop it," said Lisa Donahue, who wasn't home at the time. "It ran her over and knocked her down. My son thought she was gone."
The Duluth Fire Department reported that its crews were able to secure the vehicle and use extraction tools to remove Alyssa within eight minutes of arriving on scene.
"The response of the fire department was amazing," Lisa Donahue said. "They were there in seconds."
Alyssa's injuries included two broken femurs, a broken tibia, a broken fibula and a fractured pelvis.
In a Facebook post, she wrote: "I know my dad was looking out for me."
Jon Donahue, well-known locally as a host of the long-running public access sports talk show "The Average Guys," died in September 2014 at age 49 following a two-year battle with cancer.
"She's a tough young lady," Lisa Donahue said. "Just like her father was."
Alyssa is a 2015 graduate of Denfeld High School and is enrolled in the nursing program at Lake Superior College, her mother said.
She said Alyssa will likely need to take time off from school and go through a prolonged period of recovery. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with medical costs at gofundme.com/alyssas-medical-fund-2tr3hrg.