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Wirthlin: 'It's a miracle I'm alive'

Posted: April 29, 2008 2:25 a.m.
Updated: June 30, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Canyon High student/athlete Stephen Wirthlin said he's lucky to be alive after a car accident on Saturday morning in Gorman.

 
Canyon High student/athlete Stephen Wirthlin said he's lucky to be alive after a car accident on Saturday morning in Gorman.

The 17-year-old was on a Boy Scouts retreat when the car he was a passenger in landed awkwardly on a dip, then flipped a couple of times, taking out a fence and a couple of trees.

Withlin suffered a broken neck.

"I'm going to be fine, no worries," he said.

The three-sport athlete - football, soccer and track and field - intended on continuing his athletic career at Brigham Young University next year, where he planned on playing football.

He was told by doctors that he is to not have any physical contact for two years.

Wirthlin said he will grey-shirt a year then go on his Mormon mission, which will give him three years away from athletic competition.

He will then evaluate his athletic future.

More importantly, though, Wirthlin said he is just grateful that something worse didn't happen.

He was in the backseat of the car wearing a lapbelt when the accident occurred.

Wirthlin said after rolling, one of the trees was in the backseat with him.

He suffered a compression fracture on both sides of the C-5 vertebrae in his neck.

"It's a miracle I'm alive, let alone have feeling in my body," he said.

Two other passengers were in the vehicle and came out of the accident unscathed.

Wirthlin said he will wear a neck brace for the next three months.

He had been running and competing in the long jump for the Canyon track and field team.

In the fall, he was an All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley first-team football player.

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