By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Army recruiter who was hit by a Jeep and carried underneath the vehicle for nearly a mile remains hospitalized, and his coworker hopes a fundraiser will help offset the financial challenges his family is facing.

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Sgt. 1st Class Travis Torgerson, 42, was hit on Sept. 17 while walking back to his office after lunch. Fellow Staff Sgt. Michael Stroud, 29, was also hit by the Jeep, but only suffered minor injuries.

“It’s a terrifying thing to see one of your close friends getting drug underneath a vehicle, because typically people die when that happens,” Stroud said. “And that’s exactly what I thought is that he was dead.”

Torgerson had a broken leg, broken ribs, and has now endured a series of skin grafts on his back.

“He’s in great spirits,” Stroud said. “He’s making a good recovery. It’s just going to take a long time.”

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Stroud is hoping a fundraiser next month will help. The event is Sunday, Nov. 3, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church at 2120 Lexington Avenue.

“He’s not there at home, so now they need babysitters more often — they have two small kids,” Stroud said. “His wife works and goes to school at the same time. They eat out a lot more, instead of having home-cooked meals. There’s a great financial burden, a lot more than it might seem.”

While both men have served overseas, Stroud said what happened to them last month continues to haunt them both.

“This is much more traumatic because we are in America — we are supposed to be safe here, walking around,” Stroud said.

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The driver of the Jeep, Enrico Darius Taylor, 52, was charged with three counts of criminal vehicular operation in connection with the September incident.

John Lauritsen