Saturday, November 8, 2003

Full recovery expected for boy hit by van


Overeager trick-or-treater was struck in North College Hill

By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Januari Brown, of North College Hill, uses a cool cloth to soothe her son Shannon, 8, on Friday at Children's Hospital Medical Center.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
Januari Brown still hears the screams of her neighbors on Halloween night.

Brown was getting her 8-year-old son Shannon and his friends ready to go trick-or-treating when she realized he wasn't in the house.

The eager third-grader, who had pulled on dark clothes and a bloody monster mask, couldn't wait. He tore out of the house and into the path of a van.

She knew when she heard frantic cries that a little boy had been hit that it was her son.

"It's the worst thing a mother can imagine," she said Friday as she sat by Shannon's hospital bed, wiping his forehead with a damp cloth.

Shannon, who was struck at Sundale and Simpson avenues in North College Hill, suffered two broken legs and a concussion, and remained unconscious for two days after the accident.

While Shannon likely won't walk for six months, doctors have told the family he will recover fully.

On Friday, he sipped liquid Tylenol at Children's Hospital Medical Center as a nurse changed his bandages.

"Is it going to hurt?" he asked.

"No," she promised.

Brown, 25, is glad her son is alive.

Shannon doesn't remember the accident but is starting to ask questions, she said.

Jerry Fales, a retired Colerain Township firefighter who was nearby, rushed to Shannon's side seconds after he was struck by a van, talking to him as the boy drifted in and out of consciousness.

Shannon was being loaded into an ambulance as his mom reached him.

She said Shannon, who attends Schiel School in Corryville, was so excited about trick-or-treating that he had been wearing a scary mask around the house all week.

The driver of the van won't be charged in the accident, said North College Hill Police Chief Paul Toth.

"We can't find criminal fault or liability," Toth said.

Brown said that for now she is focusing on her son's recovery, not how the accident happened.

Shannon is anxious to go home and see his friends.

But for now, he says, it's enough to have his mother by his side.

E-mail scoolidge@enquirer.com




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