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'It's an avoidable tragedy': Lexington mom shares dangers of debris after son seriously injured in crash

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Posted at 12:40 PM, Aug 16, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Before Conor Boone got into a car crash, he spent his time outdoors or working on BMWs. That all changed July 23, when the 27-year-old foreign auto technician crashed his convertible on New Circle Road.

“The mother part in me obviously was freaking out because we had no clue what had happened at that point,” said Ann Boone, Conor’s mom. “I just got a call from an officer: ‘Your son has been in an accident and he's in stable condition at UK ED.’”

Ann says many details of the crash are still unclear, but she learned the cause of the wreck while reading a LEX 18 article. Police said someone’s tarp came loose off their vehicle, blocking Conor’s vision as he drove.

“I just know some random tarp came from somewhere,” she said. “My son was in a convertible with his seat belt on, and this tarp caused him to run into an embankment and be ejected, and here we are.”

Conor suffered a traumatic brain injury or TBI. He was in the ICU at UK, then transferred to the trauma unit. Now, he’s starting a month of rehab at Cardinal Hill, relearning how to walk and talk. When he gets home, Ann says he’ll need 24/7 care.

Currently, Conor is able to show two fingers, do a thumbs-up, and nod his head yes or no. He can also answer questions, though he’s often confused. Ann says her experience working in rehab has been helpful as the family navigates this ordeal.

"It's day-to-day,” she told LEX 18. “You don't know where they're going to end up. He has a good prognosis. We are hoping for the best and expecting the worst.”

Unfortunately, Conor isn’t alone. In one four-year span, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes, 39,000 injuries, and 500 deaths. 2/3 of those crashes happened when items from a vehicle, due to improper maintenance or unsecured loads.

Her son is slowly healing, but Ann wants others to know that taking the extra step to properly secure loads can prevent tragedy and even save lives.

“He could have died,” she said. “And he didn’t, thankfully. But it really has a ripple effect.”