The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Kathi Howell
Wah. Co. Eagle 

Grandson recovering from hit and run


Last week, on Friday I believe, there was a top story on KATU news about a boy who was hit by a drunk driver after saving his friend. Kameron Howell-Meeker was walking down River Rd. in Milwaukie, Ore., when he heard some screeching and saw that a pick-up truck was swerving and heading directly for him and the girl (Ellie) he was walking with. He pushed Ellie out of the way, then was hit, thrown high in the air, did about three cart wheels and landed in a bloody mess on his face. He was rushed to OHSU Trauma Center, and that’s when I, his grandmother, got the call.

My daughter told me he’d been hit and that his back, right leg, pelvic bone, and arm were broken, and he had a concussion. They had done a CAT Scan to determine whether he had a head injury, but thankfully, no brain bleeds or fractured skull.

At midnight, I left Cathlamet to go to OHSU. I arrived there at 2:15 a.m., parked in the OHSU Emergency Room parking lot and ran into the hospital. I was horrified to see my oldest grandson’s condition. He was covered in blood, road rash all over his face and arms, bloody gauze bandages, and had a neck brace on. Boy, did I do some serious praying!

After about 30 minutes, it was established that Kameron could move his fingers and toes, his spinal cord had not been severed. His condition was stable and OHSU would be doing more tests in the morning.

As it was now about 3 a.m., I told my daughter that I would go to her house about 20 minutes away and sleep. But when I went back to the ER parking lot, my car had been stolen! Way to hit a guy when he’s down, eh?

I went back into the hospital and the ER admitting receptionist called the OHSU Dept. of Public Safety officer who arrived on location about 15 minutes later. He told me to get in his vehicle and we would look for the car. I asked him if it may have been towed, but he said no. We drove around the OHSU parking lots for about 15 or 20 minutes. Officer Kyle Johnstun was his name and he noticed that another car in the same parking lot had been tampered with and he knew the nurse who it belonged to so he called on his radio to have her come out and look. She said her car had been broken into but nothing was missing.

Officer Johnstun told me he would file a report. I told him it was a 1987 Honda Accord but I didn’t know the license plate by heart, and all the paperwork was, of course, in the car. He gave me his card with the case number on it and told me to call in the morning with the license and VIN number, which I did first thing.

As it turns out, Officer Johnstun never filed the report, but the next afternoon I got a call from the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office (Dave, thank you!). He told me that he’d received a call from a Deputy Jones in Portland who was investigating another stolen car incident and happened to notice my car trunk open and all my belongings had been strewn about. Deputy Jones ran the plates and called the Cathlamet sheriff’s office to see if they knew anything. I received Deputy Jones’s phone number, called him and made arrangements to meet. A forensics officer was there dusting for fingerprints and taking DNA samples. I gave him my DNA,and after they processed the evidence, I was able to put my belongings away and drive my car back to the hospital. The security officer from OHSU never did file the report that I know of.

So, after that awful 24 hours, my grandson Kameron is going to be okay. He was scheduled to have surgery on his knee on Tuesday. His back is okay--a compressed spine--that and the rest of his wounds will heal. He’s even been labeled a “hero” for saving Ellie. I am so grateful for the EMT’s , the doctors, and nurses that saved him! And the Good Lord, of course.


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