Tow truck driver finds injured boy in bushes

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. - A 16-year-old boy laid badly injured in some bushes for about 90 minutes on Monday morning before an alert tow truck driver heard him calling for help.

Clark County sheriff's deputies said the boy was apparently waiting for the school bus on a rural road just north of Battle Ground around 7:10 a.m. That's when a woman driving a Nissan Maxima lost control and drove about 100 yards down a ditch before crashing into a fence, investigators said.

At some point the car hit the boy and he was thrown into some nearby bushes.

A school district spokesman said the victim is Justin Carey, a sophomore at Battle Ground High School.

About 90 minutes after the crash, around 8:40 a.m., tow truck driver Charlie Barrett was pulling the car out of the ditch when he heard someone crying for help. He found Carey lying in the bushes with severe injuries, according to Clark County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Fred Neiman.

"The vehicle was down in a ditch amongst a bunch of berry bushes, and I heard this faint 'help,'" Barrett said. "And I said 'excuse me?' And he yelled back help again, and it took me probably a good five or six minutes in order to find him, and he was actually not more than about five feet from the car. He was underneath the berry bushes."

Firefighters and a medical helicopter arrived to treat Carey. He was flown to Peace Health Southwest Medical Center. Neiman said the Carey suffered "significant trauma."

The crash happened at the intersection of NE 289th Street and NE 82nd Avenue.

Neiman said the driver of the Maxima gave no indication to deputies that she struck a person. She suffered a broken arm in the crash.

It's not yet clear why she left the road. Neiman said traffic investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. There were no other witnesses.

Carey is a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Battle Ground High School. Senior Aerospace Science Instructor Col. Brian Brown released the following statement on Monday:

"Justin is a good student and well liked in the JROTC program. He is a Varsity Letterman on the AF JROTC Air Rifle Team. We pray for his speedy recovery and rehabilitation."

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