Teen crash victims are recovering

Published 6:09pm Saturday, April 7, 2012

The mothers of a two teenagers severely injured in a rollover Thursday about two miles southwest of Clarks Grove say they are thankful no one died.

“They’re all really lucky to be alive,” Aimee Olson said.

She is the mother of 18-year-old Isaac Marlowe Melankton Olson. On Friday she and the father of the Albert Lea High School senior were at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester along with the parents of 18-year-old Andrew Peter Borland, also a senior at the high school.

Isaac suffered breaks in the 5, 6 and 7 discs of his vertebrae, she said. He had to be placed in a halo brace Friday morning and entered a surgery slated to take six hours. An eventual full recovery is expected, she said, but he will continue to have soreness in his neck.

“We ask for everybody’s prayers,” the mother said.

Isaac, a lifeguard at the Albert Lea pool, enjoys swimming and will be able to swim again. He has been a swim team captain for two years at Albert Lea High and selected his college based on the swim team. He is going to Hamline University.

Like many teens, he likes video games and enjoys playing paintball or Airsoft.

His friend, Borland, was driving a 2007 Chevy pickup that had been traveling east on a gravel road with four passengers when it left the roadway and went into the south ditch.

His mother, Marilynn Borland, said Andrew suffered a deep laceration on his left arm. The gash was about 24 inches long and “filled with gravel and grass and hair and fungi and pebbles and dirt from the field,” she said.

Andrew, who was airlifted by helicopter to Rochester, underwent surgery Thursday, but the arm remained swollen so surgeons couldn’t sew it up. A second surgery was scheduled for Saturday. The hard part for medical staff is removing all the foreign material.

“There is so much debris they are afraid of a bacterial infection,” the mother said.

Andrew was a lineman on the Albert Lea High football team, playing offense and defense. He also wrestled on the junior varsity squad.

Marilynn said she is feeling numb and is low on sleep. When she spoke with the Tribune on Friday, she hadn’t slept the previous night.

She said Andrew has been up and milling about but is sedated with pain medication.

Preliminary investigation shows the vehicle was traveling at excessive speeds when it left the road, according to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office. No occupants of the truck were ejected, and authorities believe they were all wearing their seat belts. There was no indication that alcohol was involved in the crash.

Other passengers were Lewis Warren Kelly, 16, Dominic Francis Sargent, 17, and Levi Colton West, 17. They were taken by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Aimee Olson praised Dr. Michael Ulrich at the medical center in Albert Lea for his expertise and manner and she praised the professionals at St. Marys. Marilynn also praised the St. Marys staff.