1 released, 2 remain hospitalized following hayride accident
One of the teens who was transported to Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville and immediately taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah because of injuries sustained in last Saturday’s hayride accident in Ridgeland was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, according to a family member.
Brittany Sanchez Cormack, aunt of Hunter Sanchez, a 15-year-old from Hardeeville who sustained severe head injuries in the crash, told the Jasper County Sun Times on Tuesday that Hunter had been released from the hospital.
He is a sophomore at Legacy Christian Academy in Ridgeland.
“Hunter was released, but he now faces at least six weeks of recovery,” Cormack said. “We are very appreciative of the outpouring of love and support we have received and we are continuing to pray for all that were involved.”
Cormack said Hunter was sitting between two friends on the back of the trailer where the ramps are located when a pickup truck, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol, struck the back of the trailer.
Seven people were taken to area hospitals following the accident that occurred around 8 p.m. on Tarboro Road.
Hunter could not recall the entire accident, Cormack said, but he remembered some details.
“The last thing he remembers is that he was sitting next to his friends and turning out of Nimmer Turf,” Cormack said. “After that, as soon as he came to he was a little confused and he could only remember that a police officer was asking him questions, but he did know how to get in touch with his mom.”
Cormack said Hunter told them he had just started talking to another friend when the crash happened. Hunter, she said, was sitting near Talon and Tristan Horry, the other two boys who were critically injured.
“He was thrown into the ramp and it knocked him unconscious for a few minutes,” she said. “He had skull and face fractures and a broken jaw. One side of his face was unrecognizable after the accident; he had a broken jaw on both sides.”
Cormack said Hunter had surgery Monday night on his jaw and has to have his jaw wired shut for six weeks.
“This is not going to be easy for him,” she said. “He is not a happy camper right now and he loves to eat, so this is going to take some time for him to recover.”
Cormack said Hunter and the driver of the pickup truck that struck the trailer are former classmates.
“We hold nothing against him,” she said. “He’s a former classmate of Hunter’s and he’s been to see Hunter in the hospital. We realize this was just an accident and unfortunately accidents do happen.”
Talon and Tristan Horry remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon, according to family member Carolyn Lowther Brown.
“Talon is doing good,” she said. “He’s doing physical therapy and the doctors are talking about letting him come home and then just go back and forth for physical therapy. Tristan is still in ICU. They were able to take him off the ventilator, and he’s breathing on his own.”
Brown said Tristan had been standing toward the back of the trailer where the ramps were folded up.
“Tristan was on the back and took the blow,” she said. “The ramps hit him and lacerated his liver and spleen; he was thrown over 20 feet from the trailer upon impact. Talon was also thrown from the trailer from where he had been sitting. Trenton, the other brother, put pressure on Tristan’s head wound to help him until emergency services got to him, which was only a matter of minutes.”
Brown thinks Tristan likely saved some lives by taking the brunt of the crash’s impact.
“Tristan probably saved some lives,” she said.
Brown thanks the community for their outpouring of support. She’s established the Horry/Lowther Hayride Fund at South State Bank to help with expenses for the family.
South State Bank’s Ridgeland site is located on 10671 South Jacob Smart Boulevard. The Hardeeville site is located at 21979 Whyte Hardee Boulevard.
“We have had a few donations and we appreciate those who are helping, any amount helps,” Brown said. “We have also had a local church offer to build a handicap ramp at the boys home, and we do appreciate their offer.”
Other donations are also being accepted for all of the other families affected by the accident. Anyone wishing to drop off a donation can do so at the front office of Thomas Heyward Academy.
South Carolina Highway Patrol continues to investigate the incident.