Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Teenager injured in crash

April 6, 2005

Easter wasn't a joyous holiday for the McMullin family this year.

It certainly had all the makings of a festive holiday -- friends and family gathering on a beautiful spring day.

The weather attracted Kevin McMullin and longtime friend Clayton McDaniel outdoors at the McMullins' rural Tonganoxie home.

Avid dirt bike and four-wheeler riders, McMullin hopped on his dirt bike to tear around on the property and McDaniel rode a four-wheeler.

A freak accident, though, turned the recreational pastime into a life-threatening situation.

Somehow McMullin and McDaniel collided head-on. McMullin flew off his bike and landed on his right side.

McMullin, a Tonganoxie High School junior, was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Because of the injury's severity, doctors there sent him by air ambulance to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

McMullin suffered broken ribs, a collapsed right lung and injuries around his eye that required three titanium plates be inserted around his eye under the skin.

His lung was found to be 50 percent collapsed and a tube had to be placed in his lung twice to inflate it.

But Saturday afternoon, McMullin returned home. His father, Glenn, said his son should be back in school in a week or two.

"We're glad we've still got him," Glenn McMullin said. "... It's one of those deals. We just thank God he's all right."

Glenn said his son was wearing goggles and a helmet -- requirements at the McMullin house whenever anyone rides a bike or four-wheeler. McDaniel, meanwhile, came out of the accident unharmed.

According to Glenn, the two friends weren't traveling that fast. He said the sun played a slight part in the accident, though.

Surgery around McMullin's eye required incisions around his eyebrow and through his lip and gum.

"It's still a little swollen around the right eye," Glenn said. "But that's to be expected with all the cutting they do."

McMullin is able to eat, but only certain foods. His father said he's been eating a lot of macaroni and cheese because it's easy chew.

He can't fully open his right eye, but Glenn said that will get better with time.

As Glenn said, his son was "in good shape health-wise" and should recover fully from the accident.

"He's a pretty tough kid," Glenn said. "He impressed his dad."

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