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Slow recovery for man hit by pickup

Son of councilman given multiple screws and pins in his broken leg.

February 23, 2011|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com

Andy Spence, son of City Councilman Dave Spence, suffered a broken leg and other injuries on Feb. 11 after being struck and then run over by a pickup truck while trying to cross Foothill Boulevard.

Spence is recovering at Huntington Hospital, where he faces months of physical therapy before he’ll be able to walk again and return to work at the local Vons grocery store, his father said.

Doctors used more than 20 screws and pins to set the break in Andy Spence’s left leg, said Dave Spence, and treated him for a fractured pelvis and severe bruising on his right leg — injuries caused after the truck knocked him down and ran over his legs, leaving tire tracks on his pants.

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“We hope to see him improve a little bit each day, but it’s going to take some time. He won’t be able to put any weight on the leg for at least three months,” Dave Spence said of his son, who only last week began sitting up and eating again. “It’s a slow recovery, and a painful one.”

Spence, 45, was walking home from work when he was struck just after 5 p.m.

Sgt. Mark Slater of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Department said Spence was crossing Foothill Boulevard legally and according to traffic signals when the pickup, which had been heading southbound on La Cañada Boulevard, turned to go westbound on Foothill and struck him in the crosswalk.

Slater said the truck’s driver, Ambartsum Jerejian of North Hollywood, told Sheriff’s Department investigators that he did not see Spence in the crosswalk.

“He said it was due to the setting sun momentarily blinding him, but he still chose to turn,” Slater said of the driver, who was found at fault for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

After hearing the accident, several passersby came to Spence’s aid, including La Cañada High School 7/8 student Sage Prescott.

The 13-year-old was skateboarding at the time near Memorial Park, where he left his helmet and skateboard to wait with Spence until paramedics arrived.

“People were screaming and everything,” said Prescott.

On returning to the park, Prescott found his helmet had been stolen, he said. The cost of replacing it is $45.

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