The Brookings-Harbor area saw an unusual number of car wrecks just two weeks into the summer tourism season last weekend.
Katy Pettinger, owner of Ironside Fitness in Harbor, lost her right leg from just above the knee and fractured her back in a motorcycle wreck in the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center parking lot Saturday evening, the Curry County Sheriff’s Department reported. The back injury did not result in paralysis. She was partaking in physical therapy exercises Monday.
“Katy’s in really good spirits right now,” said Sara Lejeune, an employee at the fitness center. “She’s doing really good.”
Pettinger had just acquired the motorcycle and was getting tips from her father when she drove through the railing on the driveway leading to the main parking lot, Lejeune said. She was thrown and landed partially underneath a parked business van.
Isaac Hodges, a Curry General Hospital nurse who was leaving the gym, was first on scene to tend to her before the ambulance arrived, Lejeune said.
Pettinger was taken first to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City before being transferred to the trauma center at Mercy Hospital in Redding, California, her father, David, said.
An account to assist her with medical bills will be established soon at Rogue Credit Union.
“I’m just thankful she’s alive,” David said. “What a day will bring. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.”
Party up the river
At least eight people, some of whom were underage, were involved in a one-vehicle wreck near Miller Bar on North Bank Chetco River Road when their vehicle left the road and rolled, ejecting one passenger early Saturday morning.
It is believed the group was attending a party at South Fork campground.
Curry County Sheriff John Ward said Brookings police talked with the driver who didn’t seem to be intoxicated.
“But what were all these people doing up there at 4 o’clock in the morning?” he said of the 4:21 a.m. call. “You tell me.”
The investigation is ongoing.
“We know there were some injuries, but we don’t know the extent,” Ward said. “We’re still trying to figure out who all was there. Many split, some took themselves to get medical attention, and nobody wants to say what happened. It’s all, ‘I don’t know; I was asleep,’ or ‘I don’t know; I wasn’t paying attention.’ We’re still digging.”
Ward said he plans to pursue charges against the driver, but those, too, have yet to be determined.
A 31-year-old man lost control of his bicycle as he was riding down Hillside Avenue and crashed into the side of an RV driving along Chetco Avenue Friday afternoon, Brookings Police reported. The incident slowed traffic in the area for about an hour as medics addressed his injuries.
And Wayne Smith, 26, was arrested for DUII after he “parked his vehicle” in the bushes at the south end of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church that night, prompting comments about “right pew, wrong day,” from Pastor Bernie Lindley.
According to Brookings Police Department Lt. Donny Dotson, Smith was driving up Old County Road when his vehicle veered across the road, through the bushes and over a railroad-tie garden wall on the property.
Smith was uninjured in the ordeal.
Reach Jane Stebbins at firstname.lastname@example.org .