SALEM -- A teen driver who was impaled in a crash with a fence in Salem is improving.
Authorities feared 16-year-old Joshua Martinson had-life threatening injuries Thursday when a piece of the fence railing went through his shoulder, into the seat, and all the way back to the trunk of the car.
He was trapped behind the steering wheel and the front doors wouldn't open when crews arrived. It took about 20 minutes to get him out of the car. He was rushed to Salem Hospital.
His sister told KGW Thursday night he made it through surgery without complications and his family was relieved the injuries weren't far worse. Martinson was listed in fair condition.
His family issued the following statement Friday morning:
“We would like to send our thoughts and prayers out to the other families. We appreciate everybody’s prayers for our family and everyone else involved. Joshua is expected to make a full recovery.”
Three other teens in the car suffered minor injuries.
Police believe the teens were "hill hopping," or speeding to get a roller-coaster effect on hilly streets, when Martinson lost control and took out about 300 feet of cyclone fencing.
KGW Reporter Reggie Aqui contributed to this report.