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Athlete survives crash

Posted: December 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Melinda Davis-Gillinger makes vegetable soup for son Dean Hendrix-Davis in their Newhall home on Wednesday.

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Dean Hendrix-Davis, captain of the basketball team at Canyon High School, said Wednesday he remembers driving through a roadside fence but recalls nothing about his 50-foot plunge down an embankment.

The 16-year-old basketball forward, his left arm now in a sling, was released from Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital after the Tuesday morning crash with no major or lasting injury.

His biggest concern, he said, is not being able to play basketball.

“My main thought was, ‘When am I going to be able to play?’ and ‘How long is it going to take before I can play again?’” he said in an interview Wednesday.

Hendrix-Davis was driving his blue Ford Explorer on Shangri-la Drive Tuesday when he crashed through a white fence and went down a hill, coming to rest on a driveway off Camelot Court.

“I was coming down Shangri-la when my car started skidding out and I went through a white fence, but I don’t remember going down the hill,” he said.

The SUV plunged 50 feet without hitting any structure and flipped when it hit the bottom, trapping the young driver.

“The first thing I remember is a firefighter in the car with me, keeping me company, and I didn’t want him to leave,” he said.

Hendrix-Davis and his mother, Melinda, want to thank the firefighters who sheared off the top of the family car and pulled the young basketball player to safety.

“I thought it was all a dream when it was happening,” he said.

What brought the 16-year-old back to reality was the pain of being pinned in an overturned car.

“It was painful, and I sat there in agonizing pain,” he said. “But this (firefighter) was there talking to me through it.”

For more than half an hour, firefighters using hydraulic shears and saws cut through the car’s metal while Hendrix-Davis lay pinned in the wreckage.

“I lay there watching them cut it off,” he said. “And then cutting me out.”

Even though a battery of tests were done on him at hospital, including X-rays, Hendrix-Davis was checked out by a doctor Wednesday.

Waiting for him at his home in Newhall near The Master’s College were his basketball teammates.

“They all wanted to come and see me the day it happened, but I was in too much pain,” he said.

His team is scheduled to play today and is slated to take part in a tournament over the holidays.

Doctors have told him it’ll be at least two weeks before he’ll be able to play basketball, he said.

The injury comes at a time when the Canyon Cowboys, with an 8-2 record, are doing well on the court.



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