Regan Gittlein recovering from Sunday accident on I-76

    Two teens, including 2016 Chase County Schools graduate Regan Gittlein of rural Wauneta, were injured in a rollover crash on I-76 near Sterling, Colo., Sunday morning.
    According to Gittlein’s mother, Amy, 19-year-old Regan was traveling westbound on the interstate when the vehicle he was driving went off the road about three miles southwest of Sterling.
    Seth Schneider, also 19, of Merino, Colo., was the only passenger in the pickup he owns, but was being driven by Regan that morning. The pair was heading home to Merino, where they live, when Regan fell asleep at the wheel.
    According to the Fort Morgan Times, which referred to a Colorado State Patrol report on the accident,
Gittlein’s vehicle initially went off the right side of the roadway into a grass burrow ditch. It then came back onto the roadway and rotated counter-clockwise as it went off the left of the road, where it fully rolled over once before coming to a rest on its left side, coming to rest facing southeast.
    Gittlein was ejected from the vehicle during the roll, and sustained serious injuries while Schneider suffered only minor injuries, including a sprained ankle. Both Schneider and Gittlein were not wearing seat belts.  
    Mrs. Gittlein said her son suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, 80 percent of his ribs on the left side are broken, his sternum is broken,  three ribs on his right side are broken and he sustained numerous contusions to his lungs.
    He also sustained some kidney damage on his right side, she said, as well as several fractures in the thoracic area of his back, along with cuts on his arms, some of which required stitches.
    His mother said Regan can breathe on own, but is on a ventilator because his oxygen levels are not yet stable. When they become more stable, they’ll start fusion surgeries on his neck and back, she said, hopefully as soon as Monday.
    He can move fingers and toes, and doctors have told them there is no brain damage, she said.
    Regan finished his freshman year at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling this spring, and  was completing a summer internship with Cardinal Charolais in Merino.
    His mother said they were called about 5 a.m. Sunday, informing them their son was in the Sterling hospital. Regan was later life-flighted to North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.
    He is listed in serious condition in the Medical Center’s ICU, where he’s expected to be lodged for a couple of weeks, Mrs. Gittlein said.
    The family is able to stay at the medical center’s Hospitality House nearby as he recovers.
    Cards can reach him and the family at: North Colorado Medical Center, attn. Regan Gittlein, Hospitality House Room #302, 1801 16th Street, Greeley, Colo. 80631.

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