JULY 21, 1997
Andrew Walgamott/staff photo
Brandon Bartholmey sits stoically in a hospital room after a vehicle drove onto him last week as he crossed a street. He suffered bruises and abrasions but no broken bones or internal injuries, according to doctors.
Boy recovers after having Jeep drive on chest
by Andrew Walgamott
An 11-year-old Woodinville boy is recovering from only bruises and abrasions after having a vehicle drive onto his chest and stop for more than 10 seconds when the boy was knocked down in a crosswalk early last week. Woodinville police and doctors at Evergreen Hospital are amazed at Brandon Bartholmey's lack of serious injury, calling him "fortunate" and "watched over."
The accident occurred at the intersection of N.E. 175th Street and 135th Ave. N.E. by Wells Fargo Bank around 1:30 p.m. July 14. According to Brandon, he was on his way to Taco Bell with his mountain bike when he entered the crosswalk at 135th. A male in his mid-40s driving a Jeep Cherokee turning right onto 175th apparently didn't see Brandon. The vehicle pushed Brandon and the bike over.
Before the left front tire ran over him, Brandon says he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and flexed all of his muscles. When he opened his eyes, the Jeep's tire was on top of his chest for more than 10 seconds before the driver was able to back off of him.
Nurses from a local clinic on their way to lunch assisted Brandon before aid crews arrived on scene. Brandon said he felt no pain until the ride to the hospital. He was taken to Evergreen Hospital where he was treated for bruises and scrapes. X-rays were unable to find any broken bones.
Brandon has slight impressions of tire tracks on his back, and scars on his arms and legs, but no broken bones from the accident. He says he only had trouble breathing while the Jeep was on top of him. His mother, Ava Santos, is saving the shirt he was wearing. It, too, bears tire tracks.
Santos said many people have told her that Brandon must have a guardian angel. At the hospital Tuesday, Brandon likened his escape from injury to stories of people lifting cars with super-human strength.
"Sometimes you have strength that's unimaginable," Brandon said. He was released last Wednesday. Dr. Chuck Pilcher, Evergreen's emergency room medical director, said similar accidents usually cause broken bones, internal injuries and sometimes death.
"It proves the resiliency of the human body," Pilcher said. He added that the upper chest takes pressure better than the abdominal area.
Brandon, who attended Kokanee Elementary last year, will get a new bike when he heals enough to ride. He said he plans to continue riding around Woodinville. Police are investigating the accident.