Girl in critical condition after weekend crash

Others in two-car accident in good shape

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2001

A 7-year-old girl is in critical condition and on a respirator today after she was ejected from a vehicle Saturday afternoon during a two-vehicle accident that sent 14 people to the hospital.

The girl was medevaced Saturday evening from Bartlett Regional Hospital to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She sustained internal injuries as well as head, spine, chest and abdominal injuries, said Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson.

"I believe she will be in surgery this morning for the most pressing injuries, which I'm not sure what those are at this time," Gregg-Hanson said today. "She does need assistance breathing so she has a breathing tube in and they are keeping her sedated."

Bartlett spokeswoman Marijo Toner said three people were admitted to the hospital following the accident. With the exception of the 7-year-old girl, the rest of the people in the accident went home Saturday evening in good condition, Toner said.

According to a police press release, a Bronco, driven by Jason Brown, 31, and carrying Audrey Brown, the 7-year-old girl, a boy, 2, and a puppy slid off Egan Drive near Sunny Point at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, rolling as it went into a ditch.

Police said five people including Dennis and Glenna Corbin, two boys, both 15, and a girl, 16, stopped to help the Browns. Police said a short time later, a Subaru station wagon, driven by Michelle Burch, 27, carrying Tracey Johnson and Carol Vorst, ages not available, one infant boy and one infant girl, crashed into the five people trying to help the Browns.

Police Capt. Tom Porter said police will continue to investigate the accident. He said he believes speed, given the weather conditions, may have been a factor. He said the 7-year-old may not have been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, causing her to be ejected from the Bronco. No citations have been issued and no charges have been filed, he said.

"I can't say whether we will or won't file any charges or citations," Porter said. "Obviously this accident is above the norm. We are waiting to hear from the victims and with some of them still in the hospital and the seriousness of the injuries it may take several days to a week to gather all of our information."

Toner said the 7-year-old girl was the only patient medevaced from Bartlett. Three other people including a woman, 47, a girl, 16, and a boy, 15, were admitted to hospital, Toner said.

The woman was still in the critical care unit but in good condition this morning, Toner said. The woman sustained cuts on her head, a neck fracture, a rib fracture, a concussion and multiple internal injuries, Toner said. The woman was expected to be moved to the general patient area of the hospital, Toner said.

The girl was admitted to the hospital Saturday for observation to rule out serious internal injuries, Toner said. She sustained a broken collarbone and abrasions and is listed in good condition, Toner said.

Toner said the boy is home in good condition with facial cuts.

Porter said police want to advise drivers to be especially cautious on the road during bad weather. He said the accident may have been avoided if the people involved had slowed down and been aware of their surroundings.

"Slow down, turn on your headlights and pay attention," Porter said. "Just like in this accident, if you notice vehicles are having trouble up ahead, slow down well ahead of time to give yourself more time to react. ... Fifty-five may be the speed limit but it may not be the safe or prudent speed."

According to police records, there were 14 reported vehicle accidents over the weekend.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.



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