July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Crash drives dashboard into teenager’s chest

ELYRIA — A teenager was hospitalized Tuesday after a crash into a guardrail broke his legs and drove part of a dashboard into his chest.

Debra Adkins, 36, was driving her Honda Accord with Florida plates east on state Route 57 around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when she clipped the mirror of a passing truck and hit a rail near East Broad Street, said Elyria fire Lt. Charlie Norris.

The front passenger seat was not equipped with an airbag, and the dash crushed her 15-year-old son, Gabriel Adkins, Norris said.
An infant girl was fastened in a car seat behind the driver’s seat, and was unharmed in the crash, he said.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life and a ram to pry Debra and Gabriel Adkins from the wreckage. Debra was able to partially free herself, but it took 27 minutes to pull Gabriel loose.

“He was screaming, talking to us, cussing at us — and those are all good life signs,” Norris said.

A LifeFlight helicopter landed in the middle of Route 57 about 200 feet north of the Broad Street intersection, he said.
Gabriel was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, but his condition was not available at press time.