Prineville youth seriously injured in semi accident near Sweet Home
A Prineville youth was seriously injured on Friday evening, July 15, when the vehicle she was a passenger in went off an embankment near Sweet Home.
The semi-truck was driven by Timothy Shockey, the father of 10-year-old Ginni Smith, who was riding in the sleeper cab. Shockey was heading west on Highway 20 to Sweet Home, when the truck left the roadway and went down an embankment toward the Santiam River. The cause of the accident is under investigation. A bystander witnessed the accident in their rear-view mirror and turned around to assist.
According to family-friend, Michelle Holliday, the good Samaritan looked for the driver, unaware that there was also a passenger. He heard Ginni crying from the bushes, "my back, my back." He was able to locate the girl, and it was obvious that she was injured, and he called 911.
Ginni was taken by ambulance to a location stable enough to life flight her to OHSU Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Portland. She immediately went into surgery for multiple broken vertebrae in her back and other injuries.
Shockey was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was later arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, reckless endangering, assault and animal abuse.
Ginni's puppy was in the truck and died in the crash.
"She spent the weekend in the pediatric ICU, on Monday they moved her to the main floor of the children's hospital there. She continued to improve little by little, and Friday morning, she was able to be transferred to a long-term rehabilitation facility that she will be able to work with doctors who specialize in spinal cord injuries and helping kids walk again. That is where she is currently."
Holliday noted that although she does not have feeling from her hips down, there are signs that things are improving.
"They are taking it day by day, and little by little. They are trying to celebrate every little win that they get and trying to make the best of the situation while they are up there," said Holliday of the family.
Holliday indicated that the family has a strong faith in God and choose to look for forgiveness and to move forward. She added that Ginni has had a very positive attitude throughout the entire ordeal.
"She still has this positive, very forgiving, sweet, loving demeanor about herself, she is just an amazing little girl to watch. Talk about reliance, that is what I think of for her."
There is a Facebook Go-Fund-Me account set up at https://www.facebook.com/donate/1245112979594144/. There is also an account at the Mid-Oregon sites in Central Oregon under Ginni's Medical Fund.
"The family could use your help with relieving some of the financial burden that comes with a tragedy such as this one. They will need help with traveling costs, lodging, gas, medical bills, and living expenses from loss of wages," concluded Holliday.
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