Blackfoot teens survive 4-wheeler wreck
A pre-prom 'day date' resulted in no prom at all for Blackfoot teens Heidi Dreher (16) and Jeron Katseanes (17) after a crash on a 4-wheeler in Bone last Saturday. Instead, it was a ride on the life flight helicopter for Dreher and a night in the hospital for Katseanes. Both teens walked away with lots of road rash, some cuts and minor injuries but are 'happy to be alive!'
It was to be a day of fun, food and 4-wheeling in Bone on the property of Mitch Mansanarez for 14 couples enjoying their pre-prom 'day date,' now a tradition among high school students.
"We were told by the property owner to wear helmets," Katseanes said, "but we said 'no, we're not wearing helmets; we're young and reckless!' " The two hopped on a brand new 4-wheeler (owned by Katseanes' brother)...and off they went.
Dreher and Katseanes said they kept getting separated from their group but didn't mind; they were having a blast taking turns driving and splashing through mud puddles. The two had a minor crash in a mud hole and jumped back onto the 4-wheeler, mud-splattered and laughing, to go find their friends and show them the cool mud puddle they had found. It was on the way back from this that they got separated from their friends again and the more serious crash occurred.
Dreher was driving and said the back end of the 4-wheeler started to slide off the dirt road andinto the embankement. She over-corrected, flipping the machine and landing back on the road. Dreher flew one way...and Katseanes flew the other...
Katseanes jumped up after the wreck to find Dreher unconscious with blood gushing out of her head.
"It scared me bad," Katseanes said. "I thought Heidi was dead."
Thankfully, Dreher regained consciousness fairly quickly but was in shock and didn't know what had happened.
"I was like 'where are we?...what's going on?' " Dreher said.
Katseanes was able to keep his wits about him and push-started the damaged 4-wheeler to go find help.
Friend Samantha Ellefson, who has been driving the two around town while they are injured, was one of the first to see the two after the wreck.
"I just started crying when I saw Heidi bleeding and realized that they had wrecked," Ellefson said.
No one in the group had cell phone service and friends were walking to get help when luckily they came upon a passerby who was able to get a call out to 911. Another stroke of good luck is that members of Bonneville County Search and Rescue happened to be close by at the Bone store doing their 'poker-run' fundraiser, so help arrived quickly.
Dreher was life-flighted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) where she had 8 staples put in her head wound; she was released later that day.
Katseanes was taken by ambulance to EIRMC where he was kept overnight for observation because of a tear in his spleen. His left arm has been wrapped to prevent infection from some severe road-rash.
Dreher, an accomplished dancer who was recently named Blackfoot's Distinguished Young Woman of the Year, is still experiencing some headaches, but is hoping to be able to dance at Blackfoot's 'downtown dance recital' this Friday and Saturday. For the most part, the two are happily on the mend and don't feel too bad about missing the prom.
"We are just both so glad to be okay," Katseanes said. "The prom was the last thing on our minds after what happened."
"I had just had my nails done for the prom and not one nail got broken," Dreher joked, showing off her long, perfectly manicured nails. The two are planning to still get dressed up in their prom attire with their gang of friends for a picture.
Dreher's mother, Lee Ann Dreher, said the wreck really gave them a scare. "We are so glad these kids are O.K. I really want to thank the property owners Mitch and Kelly Mansanarez and parent chaperones Don and Tami Fairchild along with 'search and rescue' for all their help."
Dreher and Katseanes, who have been dubbed as 'thrill seekers' by family and friends, both agree; they have indeed learned a lesson and 'will' wear helmets from now on when 4-wheeling or other such activities.
Dreher is the daughter of Dean and Lee Ann Dreher of Blackfoot; Katseanes is the son of Jeff and Judy Katseanes of Blackfoot.