Boy, 14, still struggling in hospital after dirt bike crash

A 14-year-old boy who crashed his dirt bike into a garage Saturday, Sept. 5, is struggling to survive the horrific accident that broke several bones and injured his brain and internal organs.

Ross Campbell, 14, was riding his dirt bike up a driveway and slammed into the side of the garage at 1 Misty Ridge Court in Sudden Valley, said Washington State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis.

Dan Potter, Ross’s dad, and Deborah Potter had been outside with Ross while he was on the dirt bike, said family friend Rhett Halpin. They went inside the house momentarily, Halpin said, and that’s when they heard a loud bang. Dan Potter ran out and found his son unconscious.

Halpin, who has been in regular contact with the family, said Ross was riding a Yamaha IT 175 and trying to turn at a high speed before slamming into the wood framing of the garage.

Ross, who had been wearing a helmet, was eventually airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition. He’s had multiple surgeries in the last four days, including one to repair his jaw that broke in two places, and one for his lacerated liver, Halpin said.

Ross remains in serious condition at Harborview, the hospital said Wednesday. He can barely talk and is using a breathing tube, Halpin said. Dan and Deborah Potter have been with Ross most of the time at the hospital.

Ross just began his freshman year at Bellingham High School. Halpin taught Dan Potter how to ride a motorcycle a year ago, and Potter bought a dirt bike for himself and for his son. It was something the two often bonded over, Halpin said.

Dan Potter is “holding it together, but barely,” after seeing his son so close to death, Halpin said.

“He just wants his kid to be OK,” Halpin said.

A gofundme page has been set up by friends to help with the family’s medical expenses, http://www.gofundme.com/ae3mt23p.

Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or wilson.criscione@bellinghamherald.com.