Mother: Injured teen may leave ICU tomorrow

He was hit by a car, waited 90 minutes to be discovered

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: June 20, 2013, 9:00 PM

 

The 16-year-old boy who was hit by a car earlier this month and waited 90 minutes before he was found and transported to the hospital is expected to move out of the intensive care unit today.

Janette Chumley, mother of Justin Carey, said her son contracted a staph infection a few days ago, but doctors at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center expect him to bounce back. He remains at the hospital in satisfactory condition, though he is in isolation to monitor the infection.

Carey was waiting at the intersection of Northeast 82nd Avenue and Northeast 289th Street for the school bus on June 10 when he was struck by a Nissan Maxima.

The driver of the car, Shaun Johnson, 46, of Vancouver did not tell first responders she had hit someone.

Carey lay injured in nearby brush for an hour and a half before Charles Barrett, a tow truck driver with Clark County Towing, heard Carey’s calls for help, found the teen and called 911.

Chumley said that in the days that followed, two surgeries removed 85 percent of the muscle in Carey’s lower right leg. Doctors are taking extra precautions — such as limiting visitors and requiring his parents to wear gloves and masks — to make sure the infection doesn’t spread to the lower leg.

“The doctors still say (amputation) is not off the table yet,” she said. Despite that news, Carey is “very positive about being able to walk,” his mother said.

Since learning that he had to wait so long for help — he doesn’t fully remember — Carey has had a hard time.

“He’s having a really hard time emotionally,” Chumley said. “He doesn’t understand why someone would hit him and leave him there.”

Clark County Fire & Rescue, which responded to the original traffic accident, will present Barrett with an award at 3 p.m. June 26 during its fire commissioners meeting at Station 21, 911 N. 65th Ave.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the crash and has yet to take any legal action against Johnson. Sgt. Fred Neiman, spokesman for the agency, said that investigators are waiting for lab results from Johnson’s blood draw and for investigators to fully analyze the Nissan Maxima before taking action.