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PRICE — A judge has scheduled a jury trial for a Carbon County driver accused of intentionally hitting a man on a bicycle with his SUV and then hitting the man again when he tried to run away.
Matthew Alan Thatcher, 33, pleaded not guilty Friday in 7th District Court to charges of attempted murder, failure to remain at the scene of a crash with serious injury and no proof of insurance.
Witnesses called 911 on Aug. 17 to report that a man had been intentionally run over by the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Price Police Capt. Bill Barnes said. A 32-year-old man was hospitalized with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening, the captain said.
Police started searching for the driver, who was not at the scene when they arrived. Based on information provided by witnesses, they identified Thatcher as the driver and found the Jeep he was driving, Barnes said.
Investigators later learned that Thatcher and the injured man were involved in an ongoing property dispute. Authorities believe Thatcher saw the man riding a bicycle and "seized the opportunity to run the victim over," Barnes said.
After he was knocked off the bike, the alleged victim got up and tried to run away, police said. Thatcher allegedly pursued him in the Jeep and ran him over a second time, dragging him a short distance.
A jury trial in the case is set to begin July 29.