A 16-year-old Salem high school student was impaled by a top rail of a chain link fence when he crashed his car off Ballantyine Road just south of Kuebler Boulevard on Thursday.
Police said the driver, who family identified as Joshua Martinson, was speeding and "hill hopping" when he lost control and went airborne. The 1996 Nissan went off the road and crashed into about 300 feet of chain-link fencing.
Rescuers responded and cut the roof off the car in order to reach the teens inside, and that's when they found Martinson impaled by a piece of the fence.
All four teens in the car were students at Sprague High School. They were taken to the hospital.
Their fellow students at Sprague High School were awaiting word on their classmates Thursday night.
"It will hurt all of Sprague here so I guess we'll see what happens," said Brady Sanders, a Sprague student. "I hope they're all OK."
Martinson originally had life-threatening injuries, but he has since improved to serious condition. Police said the three passengers only had minor injuries.
"I pray that when they do get better that they won't have any lasting effects over this," said Austin Johnson, another Sprague student.
Martinson's family issued a statement through the hospital, saying they were sending thoughts and prayers to the other families.
"We appreciate everybody's prayers for our family and everyone else involved," the statement said. "Joshua is expected to make a full recovery."
Salem police said they're referring the case to juvenile court on charges of reckless driving, reckless endangerment and fourth-degree assault.
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