Artondale student banged up following hit-and-run incident

Public safety: Boy loses birthday treats but manages to get home to seek help for injuries

of the GatewayMarch 5, 2014 

Dallean Ott felt something hit him. Hard.

The 12-year-old fell onto a tray of cupcakes for his birthday celebration last Wednesday, a day he planned to share with another student at Artondale Elementary School.

The bright frosting smeared all over the plastic container.

“He saw ‘small red car,’ then he was down,” said Ott’s grandmother, Sandi.

Ott was hit by a driver while he walked to a school bus stop on 80th Avenue NW in Gig Harbor. The driver left the scene, and Ott had to make it home on his own.

“I mostly kind of jumped on one leg, because my other leg hurt so much,” he said.

Ott said he was scared.

“I thought something really bad might happen, like I might lose my leg,” he said.

Once he got home, Sandi Ott got Dallean in an ambulance, and he was on his way to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.

He’s on crutches now, and he’s taking it easy with school work. He has a deep bruise on his leg and a slight concussion. He also has a sore back.

Sandi and Roy Ott said what really hurts is that someone left their injured grandchild on the side of the road. Now he’s missed eating cupcakes with his classmates, an ice cream day at school and his crossing-over ceremony from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

“He’s worked hard for his badges,” Sandi Ott said.

Dallean and his sister, Auttaumn Ott, 14, live with Sandi and Roy, who go by “Grams and Honey.” After the accident, the Otts felt love with their community. It reminded them of 2010.

Dallean and Auttaumn were living with Roy, Sandi and their father in Gig Harbor. One morning in May 2010, Dallean had attempted to wake his father, who had died of natural causes in his sleep.

The outpouring of support after the death meant so much to the Otts.

Dallean’s injury has brought a similar outpouring. Neighbors have visited, one high school-age neighbor brought cupcakes, and posts on Facebook have been a public display of support.

He’ll be out of school for a little longer. His doctor wants to play it safe, Sandi Ott said.

Dallean will have to sit out of recess and physical education for a few weeks, something he’s not happy about. A big Washington State Cougars and Seattle Seahawks fan, Dallean was excited to play football. That will have to wait while he heals.

The Otts said it’s difficult to understand how someone could drive away from the scene of an accident where a child has been injured.

“How would you like it if someone did that to your child, just leave them on the side of the road like trash?” Roy Ott asked.

On the other hand, they said having Dallean home is a blessing.

“It could have been a heck of a lot worse,” Sandi Ott said.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at karen.miller@gateline.com. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.

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