Visibility at a Meridian construction site where a 13-year-old boy was run over Friday afternoon was so bad, it was tough to make out much of anything, a site worker said Tuesday.
“I couldn’t tell the flower beds from the road,” said Leroy Anderson, who works for Phoenix Fire Protection, a subcontractor on the project not involved in the Friday accident.
About 3 inches of snow fell Friday afternoon, adding to about an inch and a half in the area earlier in the day, according to the National Weather Service.
Ethan Muhlestein was playing with other children just south of the entrance to the Paramount Subdivision, off Chinden Boulevard on Fox Run Way.
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Muhlestein was partially buried in the newly fallen snow on an access road leading to the construction site. A worker drove through the construction site for a final check before heading home for the long Christmas weekend. He drove his pickup over the boy, who suffered serious injuries to his head, face and chest, his family said.
A GoFundMe account has been established to cover a portion of the teenager’s medical expenses. By Wednesday morning, nearly $3,000 had been raised. The family set a goal of $15,000.
Ethan has undergone several surgeries and his uncle, Chad Woolner, said in a post on the GoFundMe page that recovery is expected to be slow.
“We are hopeful, however, based on preliminary reports that his recovery will be full,” Woolner wrote on the page.
The incident was reported at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The boy, who lives in the subdivision, was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, where surgery was performed Friday evening. The boy’s condition had improved and he was listed in stable condition on Tuesday, said Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea of the Meridian Police Department.
An 84-unit senior living complex is being constructed at the site. Engineered Structures Inc. is the general contractor. A site manager referred questions to ESI’s general counsel, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.
The worker who struck the boy took Tuesday off and was not present at the site.
Anderson said he found out about the accident by reading about it in the Statesman on Saturday. He said he had left the site Friday about an hour before it happened, and he pointed out that a construction zone is no place for children to play.
“It was a terrible accident. Safety is always No. 1 at a construction site,” Anderson said.
The incident continues to be investigated by the Meridian Police Department.