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Crash survivor faces long recovery

Posted: January 19, 2012 6:36 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2012 6:36 p.m.

Colt Doherty, who was put on life support after surviving the crash that killed his friend last week, has been moved from the intensive care unit to another section of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, his mother said Thursday.

"As of today, he is out of ICU and transferred to another area of the hospital where they can treat his severe head trauma," Kimberly Doherty said.

"Recovery is going to be an extremely long process," she said.

Doherty, 19, was the driver of a Ford Mustang that crashed into a tree on Sand Canyon Road the night of Jan. 10. Killed in the crash was his friend and passenger, Dakota Demott, also 19.

Since the crash, Doherty had been in critical condition at the hospital. On Saturday, his condition had improved to the point where he could be taken off life support.

The recovery is taking a toll on family members who take turns at his hospital bedside, his mother said.

"It's horrible," his mother said, trying to hold back tears. "It's a horrific situation all around."

"We need to take it one day at a time," she said, having just left her son's hospital bedside.

The young man's mother said she wants to thank so many people for their support and prayers, particularly the paramedics of the Los Angeles County Fire Department whom she said "had to cut him out of the car."

Doctors continue to explain to her, she said, that the healing process of severe brain injury is a long one.

"It's not like a broken arm. The whole brain has to reboot," she said. "They didn't think he was going to make it."

On Wednesday, at least 600 people attended a memorial service for Demott at St. Clare's Catholic Church in Canyon Country.

The crash investigation is ongoing, according to deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station who were reportedly examining the possibility that another car may have been involved.




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