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Cali Owings, Published October 01 2013

Details released about accident that led to Lexi Bolstad's severe brain injury

FARGO – New details have emerged about the GEM car accident two months ago that left Davies High School senior Alexis (Lexi) Bolstad with a critical brain injury.

A police report filed in connection with the incident paints a detailed picture of the night Bolstad fell from the GEM car – an electric vehicle similar to a golf cart.

Four teens, including Bolstad, were in the vehicle headed south on Veterans Boulevard around 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 4, according to the report.

Witnesses told police Bolstad was “hanging off the side of the GEM car and waving her arm and yelling” as the car entered the roundabout to travel on 44th Street. She lost her footing, fell from the vehicle onto her back and struck her head on the pavement.

Bolstad was transported to Essentia Health in Fargo for treatment, where she stayed in the intensive care unit for a month.

Bolstad initially underwent surgery to have parts of her brain removed. She was heavily sedated and could not breathe or eat on her own.

In early September, she was moved to Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation.

The Bolstad family has documented her improvement on her CaringBridge online website. She can speak, shoot hoops, sit and stand by herself, and walk using a walker.

Robin Bolstad, Lexi’s mother, previously told the Forum Lexi is expected to be discharged from the rehab facility on Nov. 12.

While Fargo police did not find evidence of negligence on the part of the operator of the vehicle, charges were filed in Municipal Court against owner Jesse Craig of Fargo for not properly licensing or insuring the vehicle.

Craig, who was not operating the vehicle at the time of the incident, told police he had given his daughter permission to drive the vehicle earlier in the day. He also said the GEM car was not licensed or insured because he was planning to sell it.

A witness told police the car “appeared to be traveling very fast” through the roundabout, but did not see any other reckless driving.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Cali Owings at (701) 241-5599