Local family seriously injured in car accidentJim and Chanelle Laitinen of Blackhoof, along with one of their three children, remain hospitalized after the van in which they were driving left the roadway and rolled three times while travelling east of Portland, Ore., on Tuesday.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Jim and Chanelle Laitinen of Blackhoof, along with one of their three children, remain hospitalized after the van in which they were driving left the roadway and rolled three times while travelling east of Portland, Ore., on Tuesday.
According to a family member, the Laitinens were returning Chanelle’s sister, Ciara Kinnunen, to her home in Washington when the accident occurred. Kinnunen, who was driving the van, lost control of the vehicle and overcompensated, causing the van to veer off the road and roll.
Jim was thrown from the vehicle and both he and Chanelle sustained serious injuries.
The two were airlifted to a hospital in Portland. Chanelle is suffering from a broken back, punctured lungs, fractures in her neck and significant bruising and was scheduled to have surgery Thursday morning. Jim is reportedly in critical condition with several broken bones, including his neck, which is broken in three places. Family members reported that doctors later found no blood vessels were involved, however, and he was able to respond to his mother, Inez Jameson of Esko, who said he winked at her on Wednesday.
Also involved in the accident were family friend Sadie Whitebird of Cloquet and the Laitinens’ three children, Araya, 10, Roman, 8, and Cole, 4. Araya was initially being treated at a separate hospital for facial and head lacerations which required surgery. At the time this issue of the Pine Journal went to press, she was being transported to the same hospital as her mother and father. The other two children, as well as Kinnunen and Whitebird, reportedly escaped serious injury.