JOHN DAY – A former Grant County resident is recuperating at his family’s home in John Day after a two-vehicle crash near Hermiston that seriously injured him and two friends.

James W. “Jimmy” Cook Jr., a 2009 graduate of Grant Union High School, was living in Hermiston at the time of the crash.

Cammi Copenhaver said Tuesday that her son is resting at home and is able to talk with friends and well-wishers, but is in tremendous pain. The impact shattered all of the ribs on his left side, and surgeons had to remove the ribs over his heart to prevent puncture damage. He also has a bruised lung and broken bones in his wrist and forearm.

She said he faces a long recovery and more surgeries, without insurance, but for now she’s grateful he’s home.

“I’m just so glad he’s alive,” she said.

Oregon State Police (OSP) said the crash occurred about 4:50 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, near the intersection on Highway 730 at Highway 37, northeast of Hermiston.

Police said a 1999 Kenworth truck pulling a flatbed trailer driven by Steven Voth, 62, of Othello, Wash., was eastbound on Highway 730, approaching the intersection with Highway 37, when a 1989 Dodge pickup pulled in front of the flatbed and was struck in the left front side. After impact, the truck and flatbed trailer came to rest on a dirt embankment along the north side of Highway 730.

Cook, 22, was in a car driven by MacKenzie Jo Dyer, 20, of Hermiston, who was transported by air ambulance to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Wash., and later to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.

Cook was transported the Hermiston hospital and then by air to Kadlec Medical Center. The other passenger, Kortlan Lucas, 21, of Hermiston, was transported to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

Voth was using safety restraints and was not injured. Police said the three people in the pickup were not using safety restraints.

Copenhaver said the family has heard from Lucas, who sustained a broken hip and neck, and remains at OHSU. Dyer remains at the Seattle hospital.

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