It's been a week since Tresten Williams' ATV crash. Friends, family share what happened

Katelyn Waltemyer
Jackson Newspapers
Tresten Williams is 16 years old and is being treated for several brain injuries at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.

RAVENSWOOD — It was a sunny, sweltering day. Marjorie Hanes was in her house on Aug. 11, about to take a bite of her lunch when her 12-year-old sprinted into the house, slamming the front door into the wall. 

Her son was talking so fast she couldn't understand what he was saying. As she was heading to the door she saw a teenager across the street and a four-wheeler a couple feet away from him. 

She ran out the door to find Tresten Williams, 16, of Ravenswood, on the ground in front of a brick apartment on the corner of Flemming Street and Richie Avenue with blood surrounding his head. 

Hanes has 17 years of nursing experience. She said when she saw him, she went into "nurse mode."

She didn't put shoes on before she ran out the house. There was no time. 

She was the first adult on the scene. She didn't see what happen, but she knew Williams had a traumatic brain injury. 

"Nothing was really going through my mind other than, 'keep him still,'" Hanes said.

She sat next to him, supporting his head and neck, trying to keep him still before the ambulance arrived. 

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She never met him before, but she said Williams is a fighter. While she was trying to keep his head and neck still to prevent further injury, he was resisting she could tell he didn't know what was happening. 

She was inches away from his face trying to keep him still. Her son brought a towel to put under his head.

"Tresten, you've had a bad wreck, please lay still," Hanes said to him. 

At this point, two other people were helping her hold Williams as still as possible. He kept trying to escape their grip. 

Hanes said it took the ambulance four minutes to get there, but it felt like forever. 

Just before 

Williams and his friend Ryan Mills, 15, of Ravenswood, were out riding their four-wheelers. They drove past the Ravenswood Pool where the manager Mary Kemper and lifeguard Hannah Heatherington saw them. 

Williams was riding a red four-wheeler and was only wearing gray sweat pants. 

He worked at the pool this summer. Kemper said she was closing the trunk to her car when they zoomed past. She looked at him with a "what are you doing" face, he smiled and drove away. 

That was the last time she saw him before the accident. 

Toward the end of the summer, Heatherington said, he would wear black socks that reached his shin while lifeguarding. He would stand in the water with them on. 

He always made people laugh. 

Mills and Williams went to McDonald's for lunch. Mills said he finished eating first and was headed back home. Once Williams finished eating he tried to catch up. After Mills made a sharp turn he looked back to see Williams hit the sidewalk. 

Williams was out of his view for a split second, but when Mills looked again he was on the ground in front of a brick wall. 

Mills rushed over, saw Williams was "out of it" and he told one of the neighbors to call 911. 

Mills said he used to ride "quite often" and now he doesn't plan on riding anymore. 

"Now I know the dangers of them and I don't want that happening to me," he said. 

Ravenswood Police Chief, Lance Morrison, said Williams wasn't wearing a helmet.

Upon further investigation, the department found that when Williams was traveling down South Ritchie Avenue, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the apartment building. 

"We would like to really emphasize the fact that if you're riding an ATV or a bike, you should wear a helmet," Morrison said. 

Family 

Williams' older sister, Malori Bailes, lives less than a block away from where the accident happened. When she arrived, flashing lights were everywhere. At that moment, she knew it was bad.

She found their stepdad, Mike McClung, on the scene.

"Pure terror," is how she described the look on his face. 

Williams was taken to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. Bailes has gone to visit him almost every day since the accident happened. She said she's amazed by the care her brother is receiving at the hospital. 

When she was visiting him Tuesday, she said his blood pressure dropped at one point and within seconds almost a dozen doctors and nurses were in the room to help Williams. 

"They literally dropped from the sky," Bailes said. "It's comforting to me to know that he's in the best care that he could be in."

Bailes said one of the nurse practitioners overseeing Williams is from Ravenswood Marissa Hilton-Greene. 

Jackson Newspapers was able to speak with Williams' mom, Linda McClung on Wednesday. She hasn't left his side since the night of the accident.

"He's critical but stable," she said. "It's a balancing act and a roller coaster one minute to the next."

She described the past week as surreal. She's in awe of how the community has helped her family. 

On Tuesday, the Ravenswood community held a vigil for Williams at Praise Cathedral. Before the city council meeting that night, Mayor Josh Miller dedicated the moment of silence to Williams and his family. 

She said she gets minute-by-minute updates from the nurses and doctors at the hospital. Williams is being treated for brain injuries and was in a medically-induced coma as of Wednesday, she said. 

His mom wants what happened to Williams to help raise awareness about four-wheeler safety. 

"They think they're invincible," she said. "Listen to your mom and dad."

— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at kwaltemyer@jacksonnewspapers.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.