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Two Oklahoma school districts are raising money together to help two teachers who were hit by a car offset medical expenses

Stillwell and Westville have rallied around two Oklahoma teachers to make sure they can heal without massive medical bills and other expenses looming over them.

STILWELL, Okla. — Two Oklahoma women who work in education suffered terrible injuries when they were hit by a car during a morning jog on June 29. 

Ever since, their communities in Stillwell and Westville have rallied around them to make sure they can heal without massive medical bills and other expenses looming over them.

Today, the Dahlonegah Public School District in Stilwell hosted an Indian Taco Benefit to raise money for Levita Unger-Girdner and Shelly Cooper’s medical expenses. 

The staff spent the morning making 400 batches of fried bread just to prepare, and it's just one of several events held this summer to raise thousands for the educators to help them get back on their feet. 

“I’m extremely thrilled to live in an area like Adair county where we do care for our own and today’s a testimony to that coming together and helping one another out,” said Steven Cain, the Dahlonegah Public School Superintendent.

That late June accident happened just before 6 a.m., as the women were running down Old Mission Mountain Road.

While details are sparse, a crash report from that day says a 30-year-old man behind the wheel of an SUV hit them, causing injuries so severe that both women were flown to the Washington Regional Medical Center in Arkansas in critical condition. 

Levita’s close friend and running partner, Marcella, says she rushed to the gruesome scene right after it happened to help the women as much as she could. 

“We just we drove there immediately. And we come right up on the scene, when one of them was already in the ambulance and Levita was still laying in the road. And it was a bit more than we, you know, could comprehend at first.”

Levita Unger-Girdner, a 6th grade teacher at Dahlonegah, was admitted with a broken leg, collarbone, lacerated liver, and even missing teeth.

Meanwhile, Shelley Cooper, who serves as the principal of Westville High School, was taken in with a brain bleed, crushed pelvis, broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and broken leg. She also lost feeling in one of her arms.

The Westville school district hosted a dinner and auction last month to raise money for her expenses. 

These communities also came together for a running event that served as a fundraiser for both women. 

Marcella and the two ladies all run in a group called “The Tribe.”

As she helped make the tacos for this fundraiser, she says she's eager to see both ladies completely healthy again and back to running with the Tribe.

While Levita has been able to return to her home and routine, Shelley still has a long way to go.

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