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Teen recovers from car wreck

A Grants Pass teenager injured in a weekend traffic crash near Gold Hill is recovering in a Portland hospital following surgery to repair a broken leg, a family member said.

Dustin Farley, 13, could be released from Portland Shriners Hospital and sent home within the next week, his grandmother, Marlene Mackenzie, said in a telephone interview.

Dustin was airlifted to the Portland hospital following a two-car crash late Saturday on Gold Ray Road. Mackenzie said her grandson's condition had improved following surgery Monday to repair a broken left leg.

They're watching him closely, but things are going as well as can be expected, she said. He's going to be fine. It's just going to take a little time.

Dustin lost his right leg to bone cancer five years ago. Earlier this year, he served as grand marshal of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event in Grants Pass, Mackenzie said.

— Dustin was one of four children injured in the two-car wreck, which occurred at about 11 p.m. Saturday. The other three, ages 14, 7, and 7, were treated at Rogue Valley Medical Center and released Monday.

All four were passengers in a car driven by Todd Richard Chaves, 33, that collided head-on with a sedan driven by Jessica Trimmer, 23, of rural Applegate. Trimmer was released Tuesday from RVMC, where she was also transported following the collision.

Chaves, of Grants Pass, told deputies he thought he was traveling between 55 and 60 mph at the time of the wreck. He also admitted to drinking beer earlier Saturday evening.

A blood test will determine whether Chaves was legally drunk when the crash occurred, Jackson County sheriff's Capt. Joe Puckett said.

At that rate of speed with that guy drinking ... it's a miracle the way all of those boys bounced back, Mackenzie said.

Chaves remained hospitalized Wednesday at RVMC, where he was listed in fair condition, according to a nursing supervisor.

Police believe Chaves caused the wreck and have charged him with three counts of fourth-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, reckless driving and reckless endangering.

Chaves told police the youngsters in his car were his friends' children. Mackenzie said her grandson was taken to an event earlier in the evening by others who allowed him to ride home with Chaves and the other boys, who are also Grants Pass residents.

We don't even know (Chaves), Mackenzie said.

Reach reporter Jack Moran at 776-4459, or e-mail