COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A Cottage Grove teen is urging others to wear helmets after he crashed his scooter last month and suffered a skull fracture and brain bleed.
Carson Sayles, 15, said he was headed down a hill on M Street May 31 on his way to get his helmet from his dad's house when he hit a rock and crashed. He said he suffered road rash and didn't realize he hit his head.
"Always wear a helmet no matter what, whether you're riding down the street or actually riding at the skate park," Carson said. "And just keep a helmet at both parents' house at all time if your parents are separated."
His mom, Carrie, said it wasn't till the next day that she realized how badly her son was hurt. She said she took her son to PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Hospital because Carson couldn't get out of bed.
Doctors transported Carson to RiverBend Hospital, where they found a brain bleed the size of a fist and a fractured skull. Carson underwent surgery and had 18 staples put into his head.
"He could have died, and visually you could see nothing wrong," Carrie said. "I knew something in my heart was wrong, and if I didn't take him, I do believe I would have woken up to him not there the next morning."
While Carson avoided any long-term injuries, he is emphasizing the importance of wearing helmets.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to ride a bike, scooter or skateboard without a helmet. Cottage Grove Police said they are enforcing the law to prevent injuries like Carson's. Parents of children age 11 or younger who don't use a helmet could get a $25 citation. Kids between 12 and 15 can also be cited.
They are also rewarding kids who ride with helmets by giving them vouchers for the local Dairy Queen. Police said they give away free helmets to kids in the area on a first-come-first-serve basis.
To get a helmet and learn how to keep your kids safe, contact Cherie Nelson at the Cottage Grove Police Department at 541-942-9145 ext. 264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carson's family have also set up an account to help pay for medical expenses. People can donate through any Banner Bank: just ask for the Carson Sayles medical fund.