By Jason Shoot
Ryan Chagnon, a Havre High junior who was a stalwart 112-pounder on the school's Class A state champion wrestling team, is showing signs of improvement after being ejected from his vehicle in a two-car accident on Highway 232 north of Havre on April 13.
Chagnon, who was pinned beneath his vehicle after his vehicle came to rest on its roof in a ditch, has opened his eyes after lying unconscious for four days at Benefis East Hospital in Great Falls. He was hospitalized after falling unconscious due to a lack of oxygen resulting from being trapped beneath the car.
He was transported to Benefis after originally being sent to Northern Montana Hospital. "He was in critical condition prior to transport," NMH spokeswoman Kathy Newell said.
In a police report released by the Montana Highway Patrol, Chagnon approached an intersection at N. 31st Street in a 1997 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and turned left on to Highway 232.
Chagnon turned into the path of Raymond Helmrick, an 81-year-old man from Medicine Hat, and his wife, Erna. Helmrick, driving a 1997 Chrysler Intrepid, was unable to stop his car before it collided with Chagnon's Blazer in the left front fender.
Chagnon, driving with his 19-year-old sister Jessica, was ejected from the vehicle, which came to rest on its roof in a ditch on the northeast side of the highway, pinning him underneath the vehicle.
Jessica Chagnon and the Helmricks are all still hospitalized at NMH and listed in statisfactory condition, Newell said.