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Hit-and-run victim recounts close call

Posted at 8:03 AM, Oct 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-16 12:28:36-04

BILLINGS - Billings resident Chelsea Powers was driving home from work early Sunday morning before she was hit by another vehicle near the intersection of Broadwater Avenue and Division Street.

Powers was trapped in her vehicle with multiple injuries, while the other driver fled the scene on foot.

"It was terrifying," Powers said Sunday afternoon. "Just to see headlights coming straight at you. It was just headlights and airbags."

Powers suffered fractures to both her wrist and ankle, as well as a broken knee, which she said will require surgery. All of her injuries will heal, but she said the accident has left her mentally rattled.

"I was just heading home down Broadwater and then I heard screeching down the corner, and all of the sudden there was this truck that came out of nowhere," Powers said. "He started fishtailing and he came into my lane and hit me head-on."

Powers said the initial shock of the impact was overwhelming.

"You don't know what's going on because of the smell of the airbags, you can't see, and you just don't know," Powers said. "Then, you realize you can't even move your legs, it's terrifying."

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Powers said she frantically called out for help but began fearing the worst as the crash occurred just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

"I thought I was going to die. I really did," Powers said. "I got kids and I got family and I was terrified that they weren't going to see me again."

Fortunately, that wasn't the case. Powers said multiple people nearby jumped in to rescue her without giving it a second thought.

"They didn't hesitate," Powers said. "They bailed out and came and helped me pry that door open. They helped get me out and get 9-1-1 on the phone."

Powers said it was unsettling that whoever hit her fled the scene.

"If you didn't mean to, that's fine," Powers said. "But at least have the common decency to check on someone to see if they're okay. I could've died in there and no one would've known."


With her injuries, Powers won't be allowed to work for months. Her friends have started a GoFundMe page to help her through this difficult time.

And Powers said even with all of the adversity she will now have to face during recovery, she woke up Sunday morning feeling grateful that this accident didn't end up worse.

"I really appreciate everybody stopping and helping because there's a lot of people that wouldn't," Power said. "I'm really grateful this is where I'm at because it could've been so much worse."