Watch CBS News

Flying Road Debris Puts Teen In Coma

ORANGE ( — A teenager remains in intensive care Monday after his mother watched in horror as a piece of metal sliced through the windshield of her car and struck her son while she was driving.

The 17-year-old has had a stroke and two surgeries at UC Irvine Medical Center. His mother says it's a miracle he's made it this far and credits the doctors for saving his life, but she deserves a lot of credit herself, authorities said.

Kat Hawks had to keep one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on her son's artery while rushing to the hospital.

"I saw this black thing coming at me, I thought it was going to go over the car," Hawks said, who was driving on the 57 Freeway in Anaheim Saturday with her son Ethan in the front passenger seat.

debris teen in coma

A five to 10-pound piece of metal either kicked up from the roadway or fell from a truck and flew through the windshield and into the boy's neck, slicing his carotid artery.

"He was just slumped over," Hawks said. "He was bleeding so much, I just reached over and put pressure on his neck."

Ethan is a defensive end for the Whittier Christian High School football team.

The Hawks were driving southbound on the 57 around 2:30 p.m. It's possible the debris could have flown from the northbound lanes, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said.  The CHP is asking anyone who may have seen any vehicle that may have been responsible for the debris to contact them.

If you would like to help Ethan Hawks with medical bills, visit his Go Fund Me page


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.