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Helena's inaugural Soap Box Derby cut short after spectator hit
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Helena's inaugural Soap Box Derby cut short after spectator hit

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Soap Box Derby

A spectator at Saturday's Soap Box Derby in downtown Helena was taken away in an ambulance after one of the homemade vehicles slammed into the crowd. 

Helena's inaugural Septemberfest Soap Box Derby was cut short after a spectator who was hit by one of the homemade vehicles was taken away in an ambulance. 

Helena's inaugural Septemberfest Soap Box Derby was cut short after a spectator who was hit by one of the homemade vehicles was taken away in an ambulance. 

The woman who was hit appeared to be conscious as she was lifted onto a stretcher, but it's unclear how badly she was hurt. 

"We just want to make sure everybody is safe, and our EMT is gone so we don't want to continue the races," said organizer Lisa Hahn of Point S. 

Sponsored by Point S and Downtown Helena, Saturday's event on 6th Avenue downtown featured 18 vehicles made from household items such as plywood, bicycle tires, lawnmower wheels and even a garbage can. 

Vehicles were required to have a driver and could have up to two pushers. The cars could not weigh more than 200 pounds without the driver, and fully functioning brakes and steering were required. 

It didn't take long to see that this was a dangerous sport, as the second vehicle off the line was the first of several to crash through the protective railing and into the crowds along the street. Several drivers were thrown and at least one of the vehicles rolled upside down. 

After the ambulance left, the remaining drivers each walked their vehicles down the course as the crowd made their way to the food trucks, beer garden and live music by Goldie Vox. 

"We are learning from our event, but the Helena community came out and it was really great," Hahn said. "We're going to do our best to just keep everybody as safe as possible."

Soap Box Derby

Saturday's Soap Box Derby in downtown Helena featured 18 homemade vehicles. 

Soap Box Derby

Vehicles in Saturday's Soap Box Derby were required to have a driver and could have up to two pushers.

Soap Box Derby

The vehicles in Saturday's Soap Box Derby were made from a variety of household items. 

Soap Box Derby

Several drivers in Saturday's Soap Box Derby were thrown, and at least one of the vehicles rolled upside down. 

Editor Jesse Chaney can be reached at 406-447-4074, or find him on Twitter: @IR_JesseChaney. 

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