An 18-year-old athlete in Oregon was rushed to a hospital on Friday after accidentally tripping over and piercing his eye with a javelin.
Parker Kennedy, who graduated from the Hood River Valley High School this month, was competing independently at the USA Track & Field meet at Jesuit High School in southwest Portland on Friday afternoon when the accident occurred.
The head track coach of Hood River Valley High School, Donnie Herneisen, didn't witness the event, but told BuzzFeed News he had been informed it was a "freak accident."
"He was warming up and had just thrown a javelin and was walking out to retrieve it," Herneisen said. "It was kind of sticking up at a 45-degree angle and he literally tripped and fell. His spikes caught in the grass and it was the wrong angle and the javelin pierced his eye."
"As I understand it, from the folks who were there, it went at a downward angle towards his mouth, not towards his brain," Herneisen said.
A person removed the javelin from the teen's right eye before medics arrived, and Kennedy was flown to the hospital in a helicopter.
Speaking Saturday, Herneisen said Kennedy had been in a stable condition overnight.
"His condition hasn't changed overnight," he said. "The last thing I heard was that he was able to see out of the eye and see colors."
Late Friday, the Hood River Valley High School track and field team uploaded a picture of Kennedy in competition to its Facebook page.
"Praying everything will turn out OK for you, Parker," one commenter wrote. "Hugs to your family."
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact David Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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