Teen driver hurrying to school critically injured in crash with garbage truck

Pierce County Sheriff's Deputies investigate a crash that left a teen driver critically injured in Spanaway (Photo: Pierce County Sheriff's Department)

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- A 19-year-old man on his way to school was seriously injured in a crash with a garbage truck in Spanaway.

The teen's black Nissan 240SX was heading west on 207th Street East just before 8 a.m. and had stopped behind a school bus that was picking up children, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. After the students were on the bus, the driver legally passed the bus but kept rapidly accelerating down the street.

A couple blocks later, the teen smashed into the back of a garbage truck that had stopped and was preparing to back down a driveway, officials said. Deputies don't think the teen ever saw the truck, as there were no visible skid marks.

The impact sent the 13-ton truck four feet forward and crushed the Nissan, leaving its driver trapped inside with a serious neck wound.

A member of the military special forces saw the crash and ran over to the driver, applying pressure to the neck wound and other emergency medical aid until medics arrived. The driver was eventually freed and taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

He was undergoing surgery Friday afternoon.

Investigators later determined the driver is a student at Challenger High School and was likely hurrying to school at the time of the crash.

Excessive speed may have led to the crash, according to a spokesman from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

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