A 17-year-old skateboarder was hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday after he was struck on his way to school by a pick-up truck driver, officials said.
The 17-year-old boy was on his way to class at Gilbert High School at about 7:40 a.m. on the north sidewalk on West Ball Road. A truck driver heading eastbound shot across all of the lanes and up onto the sidewalk, striking the teenager before hitting a brick wall, police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
It’s unclear what caused the driver to lose control of the Ford F-250 pickup. But it appeared that the driver may have pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake, Wyatt said.
Both the driver and the skateboarder were taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange and are in critical condition.
The teenager had an injury to his left leg and was being prepped for surgery when doctors found another injury, possibly a result of the collision, Wyatt said.
“They were doing a CT scan and discovered a torn aorta,” he said.
The driver’s condition improved by 10:45 a.m. and the skateboarder’s condition was upgraded to stable Wednesday afternoon. Investigators do not suspect alcohol or drugs to have played a factor.
Gilbert senior Karina Flores, 16, is a friend of the student’s twin brother, who was present at the collision, and talked to him Wednesday morning.
“The school ended up calling us (and a friend) into the office and telling us what happened … because we’re close with him,” she said. “They (the victim’s brother) said that the brother is in surgery and that they’re hoping that he ends up OK.”
Ramon Marquez, 17, a senior, said he sat next to the injured student in a computer graphics class last semester. His girlfriend told him what happened Wednesday morning.
“He’s a good guy,” Marquez said. “I couldn’t believe what happened.”
Another student, Jermaine McClain, 17, said two friends were struck by a vehicle a few weeks ago near where the skateboarder was hit.
The area where the teen was hit is not a high-risk area for vehicle accidents, Wyatt said.
News Source via OC Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/driver-705474-truck-school.html