OGDEN, Utah -- Last month the parents of a Box Elder County teenager thought their son was dead following a devastating ATV accident with a truck. Today, 17-year-old Hayden Heusser is expected to make a full recovery.
"For him to survive the accident that he did it is a miracle," said mother Angie Bettis.
Hayden is recovering at Ogden Regional Medical Center with a number of injuries including broken ribs, a broken wrist, broken leg, collapsed lung and lacerated liver. The accident took place on May 28 in Box Elder County.
"I remember driving side by side with my dad,” Hayden said. "I remember seeing the truck and then the crash, that's it.”
Hayden collided head on with the truck on a remote highway near the town of Yost. Police called it a terrible accident.
"One second he was there and the next he was gone," said father Jeff Huesser. "All I could see was the four wheeler underneath the truck and hanging out the side, I couldn't see Hayden, I thought there is no way he's alive.”
However, the Box Elder High School senior was still breathing. His body looks like it went full throttle into a moving truck, but his mind remains intact.
"I could be dead, a vegetable, a lot worse than I am right now," Hayden said. "Somebody could just flip a four wheeler and die, I hit a truck."
Hayden said he's been given a second chance at life and he's going to use it to deliver a very important message: wear a helmet.
This is advice he failed to follow at the time of the crash.
"I didn't think about the helmet," Hayden said.
He said it's a piece of equipment often overlooked until you end up confined to a hospital bed.
"For me I got the best out of it, probably the luckiest anyone is ever going to get," Hayden said.
The father and son said it's a painful way to learn a lesson but they'll never climb on the back of a four wheeler again without the proper head gear.
"It's partially my fault and his for not having a helmet that day, but I think everybody should wear a helmet and be safe," Huesser said.
While Hayden calls his survival luck, his mother looks to a higher power. She said before the accident the relationship with her only child was almost as mangled as the ATV.
"Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that this happened for a reason, it brought us to be together and make amends," Bettis said.
A Go Fund Me account has also been set up in Hayden's name. He is scheduled to begin his senior year at Box Elder High School this coming fall. He is optimistic that he’ll be released from the hospital within the next month.