Boy hurt in August car crash still faces a long road of recovery


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) After a fatal wreck took his father's life, and six weeks of being in a coma, seven year-old Ethan Woodruff faces incredible hurdles as he begins to recover.

The Woodruff family's lawyer, Darren Berg, says Ethan is faces having to relearn basic motor skills after suffering extensive head trauma from the August accident on John Sevier Highway.

Berg said that Ethan's prognosis was easy to explain.

"Not good," Berg said.

Ethan's brain suffered such extensive trauma that he has to learn how to walk, talk and eat again. He also suffered permanent hearing loss, although he has regained some of it back. His left leg had multiple compound fractures. His face was severely swollen and he had to have a shunt put in his skull to relieve the pressure from his brain swelling.

"But the family is hopeful," Berg said. "It's possible that he will relearn walking and talking, but he will have permanent loss of some motor skills."

Ethan's father, Ben, was killed in that accident. His mother has had to take an extended leave of absence from her job to care for Ethan. His medical bills have surpassed a half a million dollars. Berg said the family expects that number will double before Ethan is finally able to go home.

An account has been set up through Tennessee State Bank to help the family with costs. Go to any branch and deposit money into the account For Benefit of Ben Wooodruff.

Police arrested and charged Scott Spangler with vehicular manslaughter in this accident. Spangler had prior arrests for D.U.I.


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