An 18-year-old high school senior remains in serious condition after his car was hit by a vehicle last Wednesday as he was delivering pizzas for Domino’s, family members and hospital staff said Thursday.
Lane Nashoanak was driving on Back Loop Road at the Mendenhall River Bridge around 7 p.m. on Jan. 18, when a Toyota Tacoma crossed the center line and collided with Nashoanak’s Toyota Corolla, police stated in an earlier release. Nashoanak was extricated from his vehicle, taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital, then medevaced to Harborview Medical Center that same night. His biological mother was flown to Seattle with him, family members said.
“He’s still in (the intensive care unit) in serious condition,” Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Thursday. She added, “He had surgery yesterday and they’re planning surgery tomorrow, but nothing today.”
Nashoanak’s grandmother Marti Channell said her grandson suffered major multiple injuries in the crash, including damage to his heart, legs and hip bone.
“He’s being quite the trouper,” Channell said by phone from Seattle on behalf of the family on Thursday. “He’s going through quite the ordeal. Right now we’re just doing a lot of praying.”
Channell said Nashoanak’s aorta was ripped on the inside, and doctors were able to repair it by putting in a graft and three stents. Doctors were also able to fix his femur, or thigh bone, Channell said. His knees, which Channell described as being loose, are still being examined to see if ligaments were torn. He is scheduled to have the surgery on his hip bone on Wednesday but that got pushed back to Friday, she said.
At one point, Nashoanak went into respiratory distress and was placed in a medically induced coma, and was put on a ventilator. But Channell said he is now off the ventilator as a test to see how he does without it.
“He’s got shallow breathing, but he’s doing pretty good,” she said. “He’s a pretty strong kid, and he was in good health, and I’m sure that he’s going to pull through this.”
Channell estimated that it may be another six weeks before her grandson tries to walk again. She wanted to thank the community for their support.
“Thank you to the public for all their support and their prayers, and it’s very much appreciated,” she said.
The owner of the Domino’s at the valley location, Fred Tallmadge, who has stayed in contact with the family since the accident, says Nashoanak first began working at the Domino’s around July, and was delivering pizzas when the crash occurred.
“It was totally not his fault, and it happened in a split second,” Tallmadge said.
He added, “We’re all trying to keep in touch and keep up to speed ... Everybody is concerned ... He was on the delivery when it happened. ... He was a great employee, we’re hoping he comes back, and we’re expecting him to come back.”
Family members said Nashoanak attends Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School.
The driver of the Tacoma, a 50-year-old man, was treated and released on scene the night of the accident for minor injuries, according to the police statement.
JPD spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills said Thursday that a police investigation is still ongoing.
“The case is still under investigation and no citations have been issued at this point,” Brown-Mills said via email.
Brown-Mills said earlier this week the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
Empire archives reveal that Nashoanak was seriously injured in another car accident about 10 years ago when he was 8 years old. He was medevaced to Harborview then as well.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.