Teen hit by car in Hazel Dell in critical condition

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A 17-year-old Vancouver boy struck by a vehicle on Northwest 99th Street on Sunday remains in critical condition at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Chase Pickens had been walking on the sidewalk on the north side of the street when he was struck by a black 2006 Mazda 4-door, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The Mazda, driven by Chancellor Pruett, 18, of Vancouver was traveling west in front of Columbia River High School in Hazel Dell about 6:20 p.m. Sunday. Using the right-turn-only lane, Pruett passed a vehicle, cut back into the westbound lane and crashed into an eastbound 1997 Silver BMW that was turning left into a driveway, according to the sheriff’s office.

The two cars collided, and then the Mazda crashed into Pickens.

The driver of the BMW, Derek Gear, 42, of Vancouver, suffered injuries described as not being life-threatening and was taken to a hospital. Passengers in the two vehicles were not injured.

Investigators have said that speed and reckless driving are suspected contributors to the crash. No citations or arrests have been made, but traffic detectives are continuing their investigation into the crash.

“I would not wish this on anyone,” said Pickens’ father, Craig Pickens. The family welcomes thoughts and prayers from the community.

A donation account to help cover medical expenses was set up for the teen at OnPoint Community Credit Union. People can stop by any branch to donate.

Pickens is a junior at Skyview High School, where classes start today. his father said.