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Accident victims improve

Three young Oak Harbor men are showing improvement after a serious auto accident Sept. 3 on I-5 near Bellingham.

“Shawn woke up last night. He gave his mom a kiss and told her he loved her,” said Rusty Hendrix on Tuesday. She was referring to Shawn Walker, 19, who was driving the 1994 Accura when it went off the interstate and into a ravine. He had been unconscious until waking up Monday night.

Rusty Hendrix’ son, 18-year-old Michael Hendrix, was one of the passengers in the vehicle. His neck was broken and his spleen was ruptured, but somehow he managed to unbuckle his seatbelt, exit the vehicle, climb up the ravine and flag down passing motorists for help.

“The doctor said it was phenomenal how he got out of the car, let alone climbed up the ravine,” Rusty Hendrix said. “With a broken neck, they don’t know how he even moved.” The young man was hospitalized but is now at home, wearing a “halo” brace that will be removed in a few weeks.

The other passenger was 17-year-old John Scott. Rusty Hendrix was uncertain of his condition. “He’s in a body cast, he had surgery, and I hear he can move his feet on command,” she said. “He has a broken back.”

Diane Geragotelis, Michael Hendrix’ aunt, described her nephew as a hero for managing to get help despite his injuries. “The others might have died,” she said.

Geragotelis said the accident happened around 9 p.m. Walker was passing a truck in the northbound lanes when he lost control of the car. She said all three of the young men were wearing their seatbelts. The State Patrol’s initial report was unclear on the issue.

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