A young man hitchhiking to southern California on Highway 101 south of Newport last evening was struck from behind by a vehicle that punched him off the road and into the brush. An OSP trooper said he suffered a badly broken leg. The trooper reported that Ben Copeland, 19, remained conscious and breathing throughout his rescue.
Copeland told authorities that he was walking southbound on 101, with his back to oncoming traffic. Suddenly a Toyota sedan came up from behind and hit him. Investigators are trying to determine the young man’s exact location when he was struck by the vehicle driven by a 28 year old Waldport woman. She was using her seat belt and was not injured.
Copeland was taken by PacWest Ambulance to PCH where he was prepared for a REACH flight to a trauma center in Portland. Authorities say although his injuries were serious, they were not life-threatening.