Two teens remain in hospital after accident

Published 12:26 am Sunday, January 3, 2010

NATCHEZ — Two of the five teens injured in a New Year’s Day vehicle crash are still hospitalized in critical condition and at least one of the boys is paralyzed.

Matthew Rymer, 18, whose legal name is Charles M. Fos, was alert and talking Saturday, his mother said.

“(Matthew) is paralyzed from his shoulders on down, but he is in high spirits,” Dorene Fos said. “He knows who everyone is and is talking to everyone.

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“He’s having a hard time right now coming to the realization that he will be paralyzed.”

Rymer was a passenger in the 2002 4-wheel drive, 4-door GMC pickup driven by fellow Trinity Episcopal School classmate Dylan Pressgrove.

Pressgrove and Rymer received the most serious injuries, but three other Trinity students were also sent to area hospitals.

The teens struck a tree on Madison Street after Pressgrove lost control of the truck crossing the former railroad bed on North Canal Street.

Rymer is at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, but will begin extensive rehab therapy next week at Touro Hospital in New Orleans.

Fos said prayers for her son and his schoolmates are very welcome and much appreciated as Rymer’s healing begins.

“We do want to thank everyone for the phone calls and concern. We want them to know we’ll be keeping them updated on everything.”

Pressgrove is at University Medical Center recovering from multiple surgeries.

“He is in stable condition,” Pressgrove’s sister Kristin Foster said. “He is still in the surgical ICU.”

Foster said while her brother’s injuries are serious in nature, he is exceeding doctors’ expectations.

“He’s already doing a lot better than we were told he would do,” Foster said. “He is responsive and responds when we speak to him.”

Foster said while Pressgrove could not respond audibly Saturday because of the ventilator he was using after surgery, he was squeezing family members’ hands when they spoke to him.

“As for his current condition, we are playing it day by day and with a lot of prayer,” Foster said.

Foster said the support and prayers of the community have been greatly appreciated by her family.

Jennifer Scudiero was scheduled to be released from UMC Saturday. She has a broken collarbone and leg and received 20-30 stitches along the bridge of her nose and eyebrows.

The other passengers, Cody Strickland and Deacon Newman were treated and released from Natchez hospitals Friday.

All four boys were on the Trinity state championship football team this season, and Coach David King said he visited both Pressgrove and Rymer in the hospital Saturday.

“They are ultimate team players and both of them are ultimate athletes,” King said. “Both of them played the line, and they were unselfish players.”

King said both young men are in the thoughts and prayers of not only their teammates, but of the whole school, as well as people from all over Natchez.

“Everybody on the team and at school loves both of them” King said. “The prayers of the team and everyone who knows them are with them.

“And the whole school is in prayer for not only these two, but (the others involved) as well.”

Trinity School Board President Dr. Rod Givens said a prayer service is being planned for students for when classes begin Monday morning.

“We haven’t worked out all the details, but sometime first thing Monday morning there will be a prayer service for all the kids that were involved (in Friday’s wreck,)” Givens said.

“Also, we’re tying to round up some counselors to be available for kids to discuss the trauma and tragedy that is associated with this.”

“Anytime that any student is injured it’s a tragedy that not only effects that student and family, but also the student body. We’re all in prayer and support of these students and their families,” Givens said.

The Natchez Police Department is handling the investigation of the case and Crime Scene Technician Sgt. Justin Robinson said it will take Pressgrove’s blood tests up to 35 days to come back from the Mississippi Crime Lab

As of Saturday afternoon, Robinson said he had not delivered the tests to the crime lab.