Teen girl struck by car expected to fully recover

She was hit, injured in crosswalk on her way to school

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter

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The teenage girl who was struck and injured in a crosswalk Wednesday is expected to make a full recovery, her cousin said.

Zoe Clark, 14, was crossing N.E. 99th Street on her way to school before 7 a.m. when Nicholas Woods, who was driving northbound, ran a red light on Hazel Dell Avenue and struck her, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Zoe is at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Her cousin, Samantha Roun, said Thursday that Zoe has a broken leg, broken elbow and two cracked vertebrae. She had leg surgery shortly after the accident and elbow surgery Thursday.

“When I saw her a couple hours after, she saw me and started crying,” Roun said. “She said she was really scared.”

Now, Roun said, Zoe’s “in pretty good spirits.”

Zoe will be in a cast for six to eight weeks and will likely need a wheelchair while she’s recovering, but she is expected to heal, Roun said.

The accident was about half a mile from Columbia River High School, where Zoe is a freshman. Roun said she walks to school almost every day.

Columbia River Principal Alex Otoupaul said there are many students who walk, ride their bike or skateboard to school. That, combined with traffic at the intersection and the early start times, can make heading to school harrowing.

“We’re starting early,” he said. “Our kids are on foot and on the road before 7 a.m. They’re bundled up in their dark clothes, they have their headphones on, people are distracted drivers.”

Otoupaul said that a parent contacted the school immediately after the crash, and students also alerted staff that someone had been hit. By the time Otoupaul arrived at the scene, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, including the school resource deputy, and other first responders had the situation “really well under control.”

“That’s huge to have an awareness and response like that,” said Otoupaul, who followed Zoe’s ambulance to the hospital in his car. “We’re very grateful.”

Woods was cited for negligent driving and driving without insurance. Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the crash, and he cooperated with law enforcement at the scene, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.