by: Henry Rosoff Updated:
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - A grandfather and grandson riding ATVs northeast of Mill Creek collided Sunday evening, sending the grandfather to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.
Neighbors told KIRO 7 the ATVs were speeding along roads near 128th Place an 55th Avenue prior to the crash.
“I saw him coming around the corner, and you could tell he barely had enough control,” said Adam Bowen.
When the two ATVs collided, the grandfather appeared to have launched off his vehicle, landing 15 feet from the crash site. He was not wearing a helmet and he hit his head badly.
The grandson, who neighbors believe is eight or nine, was wearing a helmet. He suffered only bumps and bruises, and went running through the streets after the crash screaming for help.
Aaron Maria came across the crash scene minutes after arriving home. He recognized the grandfather as “Wayne,” a man he occasionally waved to in the neighborhood.
“[There was] lots of blood coming out of his head, just a lot, and his eyes were kind of closed and rolled back,” Maria said. “I mean the whole side of his head was crushed.”
While waiting for emergency crews to arrive, Maria said an off duty Washington State Patrol officer who lives nearby did what he could for the gravely injured grandfather. The trooper declined to do an interview, but told KIRO 7 off camera that everyone riding an ATV should be wearing a helmet.
Maria echoes that message.
“I mean, if he was wearing a helmet, he probably would have gotten up,” Maria said.