Oregon Teen Stabs Himself in the Eye with a Javelin in 'Freak Accident' at Track and Field Event
An Oregon track and field star is not expected to lose his sight after a “freak accident” Friday in which he tripped and stabbed his eye on a javelin.
Parker Kennedy, a recent graduate of Hood River Valley High School, was reportedly competing independently at the USA Track & Field meet at Jesuit High School, in Portland, when the accident occurred.
Witnesses called it a “freak accident,” according to Donnie Herneisen, the head track coach of the high school team who was not at Friday’s event.
“[Kennedy] was warming up and had just thrown a javelin and was walking out to retrieve it,” Herneisen told Buzzfeed News. “It was kind of sticking up at a 45-degree angle and he literally tripped and fell. His spikes caught in the grass and it was the wrong angle and the javelin pierced his eye.”
Kennedy, 18, remained conscious as someone on scene removed the javelin from his head. He was flown by helicopter to the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland, where he in serious condition Saturday, according to Oregon Live.
“The last thing I heard was that he was able to see out of the eye and see colors,” Herneisen said.
But, he said, Kennedy is “not out of the woods yet.”
Jerry Westfall, executive director of Oregon’s track association, told Oregon Live the javelin missed the center of Kennedy’s eyeball and pierced down towards his mouth rather than up into his brain.
“The doctor said he’s going to recover from it,” Westfall said.
Kennedy won the 5A pole vault state championship in the spring and helped the men’s track team win the school’s first ever state title, according to KGW.
He was set to pole vault at the University of Washington.