Battle Ground

Teen found injured by tow truck driver: 'He found me for a reason'

Teen found injured by tow truck driver: 'He found me for a reason' »Play Video
Justin Carey spoke about his recovery on Monday before leaving the hospital.

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. – A Battle Ground teenager who was hit by a car and found in a ditch by a tow truck driver about 90 minutes later is home from the hospital.

Justin Carey, 16, was hit by the car on June 10. While doctors were able to save his life, they weren’t able to save one of his legs.

Since the crash, he’s had nine surgeries and spent nearly a month in the hospital.

“After I looked down and saw both of my feet, then I didn’t know what happened,” Carey said. “I asked my parents and they told me, and I kind of freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”

Carey doesn’t remember much about the crash. He said he was waiting at the bus stop looking at his cell phone when he was hit.

He told KATU he has a new appreciation for his life.

“If Charlie didn’t find me then I would have probably died,” Carey said. “But he did find me so he found me for a reason.”

Tow truck driver Charlie Barrett was pulling the car that hit Carey out of the ditch when he heard someone crying for help. He found Carey lying in the bushes.

The driver who hit Carey lost control of the car and drove about 100 yards down a ditch before crashing into a fence, investigators said.

That driver, Shaun Johnson, gave no indication to deputies that her car hit someone. She has not been charged with a crime.

The impact broke both of Carey’s femurs and severed arteries in both of his legs. Doctors amputated his leg one week ago.

Carey said he’ll be fitted for a prosthetic leg in two months. Until that happens, he can’t put any weight on either leg because the fractures are still healing. Once he gets the prosthetic, he’ll be in physical therapy to learn how to walk again.

Carey says he may miss the beginning of the school year this fall because he doesn’t want to return until he can walk.