It was nearly midnight on Oct. 23 when Joanna Natale got a call that her 16-year-old son, Joshua Smith, was at Hershey Medical Center after a crash in Fairview Township.
The Newberry Township woman said her son has since returned home, but he's got a long way to go before he'll be able to get out of bed.
Smith was with three friends that night when the driver, Tyler Piatt-Rainville, 19, of New Cumberland, crashed over an embankment in the 400 block of Old York Road, according to Fairview Township Police.
Piatt-Rainville and two other teens, including Smith, were sent to Hershey Medical Center, police said. A fourth teen was taken to York Hospital.
Police had no additional
Two women found the GMC Yukon on its roof in a creek, Natale said.
"They saved him," Natale said.
Smith had somehow gotten out of the car, but fell face down into the water, Natale said. Emergency responders told her he could have drowned had the two women not rolled him onto his back.
"I'm very grateful that those two women helped my son," Natale said. "All the emergency responders, too. Everyone helped save his life."
Smith spent several days at Hershey Medical Center, just returning home last week, but facing two months of bed rest, Natale said.
"He needs new everything. A new bed. A tutor. It's just going to be a long, hard time for him," Natale said.
Smith suffered from a shattered spleen, bowel contusions and enough blood loss to require three transfusions, Natale said.
"They lost him in the ambulance," Natale said. "I was told he had died he lost so much blood. They managed to get his heart to start beating again."
Now that Smith is back home and ready to get back to normal, the Red Land High School student is adjusting to working around his injuries.
"He's so lucky," Smith's mother said. "We're lucky, really. He might not be with us if this had gone the other way."
How to help
Anyone willing to donate funds to cover the medical costs for Joshua Smith can make a donation under his name at Sovereign Bank locations.