Lewis County Watch

A 16-year-old girl was seriously injured in a single-car crash off Maytown Road Southwest in Thurston County Wednesday and airlifted to a Seattle hospital, authorities say.

She was driving a Honda passenger car east on Maytown Road just before noon when it appears she lost control of the vehicle while navigating a sweeping corner, Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Ray Brady told The Olympian. The vehicle went off the road and traveled "quite a distance" before striking a tree, Brady said.

The girl's father, David Riggs, told The Olympian skid marks on the road indicate she had crossed through oncoming traffic twice before hitting the tree. When he got the call about the crash, Riggs said, it felt surreal and he got a pit in his stomach -- a Sheriff's deputy told him she was unconscious at the scene, he said.

The girl, who is not being identified because she is a minor, suffered serious injuries, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Operations Chief Robert Scott. Medics did not provide CPR at the scene, Scott said, and transported her to Olympia Regional Airport, where she was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

She was the only occupant of the car and the Honda was the only car involved, Brady said. Deputies who investigated the crash believe speed was a factor its cause.

Riggs said his daughter doesn't have any obvious external injuries but is clearly sore and suffered a severe concussion. She was able to say her name, the date, and other answers to basic questions, he said, but still was not very responsive as of Thursday morning and doesn't remember anything from the day of the crash, which was supposed to be her first day of training at her first job.

He doesn't know why his daughter lost control of her vehicle at this point, he said, but speed does appear to be a factor. She gets straight As at Tumwater High School, has competed on the swim and rifle teams, and played the viola in her high school orchestra. She's a teenager who made a mistake, he said.

Head injuries like this are difficult to predict, Riggs wrote to The Olympian in a text message. And her parents are worried.

"Any of you that have teenage drivers, please, please implore them -- use this as an example that they need to drive safely, not speed, and not be distracted," Riggs said.

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