Driver who hit tree improving in hospital

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A 19-year-old Vancouver man who lost control of his car on Aug. 22 and struck a tree off state Highway 500 has improved from critical condition to serious.

Benjamin James Root was at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said Monday evening.

Root was transported to the medical center on Aug. 22 with severe head injuries, according to a bulletin from the Washington State Patrol.

Root was driving west on state Highway 500 in the Proebstel area when he lost control of his 1995 Honda Accord, crossed the center line, left the road and ran into a tree, the bulletin said.

The accident was caused by speeding, according to the WSP. No citation was issued.