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Lucky find saves crash victim’s life

Fire and police officials are crediting a lot of luck and some quick thinking for the rescue of a badly-injured 12-year-old South Kitsap boy early last week.

The youngster, a resident of the Glenwood area, was found by local teenagers after getting into a severe crash while off-roading in the vicinity of Glenwood Road on March 18. The boy, who had been out in the woods riding his motorcycle by himself, was near death when he was found.

“They think (the accident) had occurred hours beforehand,” said Fire District 7 spokeswoman Lisa Kirkemo. “By the time they found him, the (12-year-old) had just lost an incredible amount of blood.”

From interviewing witnesses, sheriff’s deputies have been able to reconstruct most of the incident.

Apparently, the 12-year-old and a 15-year-old boy were both riding their motorcycles off-road through the forest when they rounded a blind corner and crashed, probably head-on. Both boys were wearing their helmets, but the 15-year-old sustained a concussion and, officials say, doesn’t remember much of the crash.

The 15-year-old was found wandering near his home by two other boys, who took him inside and volunteered to find his bike for him. Using a golf cart to negotiate the uneven terrain, they stumbled upon the missing bike and the severely injured 12-year-old.

Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Aman said one of the boys stayed with the 12-year-old while the other drove back the the 15-year-old’s house to call for help.

Emergency personnel were called out just after 4 p.m. but, Kirkemo said, it took a while to reach the boys.

“They had to carry in equipment quite a ways,” she said.

The 15-year-old was transported to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was treated for his concussion. The 12-year-old, however, had to be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Because of the remote location, Kirkemo said, the Lifeflight helicopter had to negotiate a landing in a nearby gravel pit.

Aman said the 12-year-old was treated for a broken leg, a broken arm, a ruptured spleen and a lacerated liver. The boy was still in the hospital as of Friday evening. Aman said the last he heard, surgeons were deciding whether to operate on the boy yet again.

“The two kids who found him probably saved his life,” Aman said. “Nobody knew this kid was out there. He would have bled out, and he was close to it.”

Aman said he talked to the parents of both boys and found out both had stayed home from school for various reasons. Neither boy was supposed to be out riding and neither had told anyone they were leaving — a decision Aman said was very nearly fatal.

Aman said the 12-year-old’s family told police he was an experienced rider who had been driving motorcycles since he was very young. The 15-year-old, Aman said, was just running an errand to pick up the assignments he had missed that day.

It is legal for minors to operate motorcycles as long as they don’t do it on state roads.

“It doesn’t look like anything at this time than a complete freak accident,” Aman said.

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