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Trooper watches as youth is tossed from SUV during wreck

Georgia State Trooper First Class Powell Allen had never seen anything like it.

As the SUV spun out of control along Interstate 20 in front of him Saturday night, someone flew out.

The teen - identified as Kevin Erickson, of Athens - was treated at the scene by McDuffie County Emergency Medical Services and firefighters/first responders with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services before being taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta. He is expected to make a full recovery.

"It was a miracle, simply a miracle," said Trooper Allen. "He is very fortunate to have survived that crash. I hope I never see anything like that again. ...That little kid is such a trooper. I'm so glad that he's going to be alright."

Trooper Allen said the teen was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from a 2003 Ford Explorer being driven by his mother, Katherine Erickson, about 8:15 p.m. after she fishtailed near mile marker 168 during a thunderstorm.

At the time Trooper Allen witnessed the wreck, he was en route to another wreck call in Warren County.

"I had to straddle the white line to keep from hitting the vehicle," said Trooper Allen.

The Explorer struck a culvert and rotated clockwise before slamming into several trees.

Mrs. Erikson was also taken to MCG for treatment. Three other passengers in the vehicle managed to escape being injured. The family was returning to Athens from a vacation trip.

Mrs. Erickson was cited for one count of Violation of the Georgia Seat Belt Law, said the trooper.

Web posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008

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