MANASSAS, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Thankful and lucky. That is how the parents of 18-year-old Ethan McLaurin are feeling, days after their son was hit by a car and thrown off a Manassas Bridge - and just hours after his fourth surgery.
McLaurin may have suffered a fractured spine and a fractured pelvis, but he didn't lose his sense of humor.
"That's not how I wanted to be on the news," he joked in a video taken in his room at Inova Fairfax Hospital and posted to Facebook. "But I'm on the news."
For a time, his parents feared the worst.
"We're, you know, extremely blessed," his mother Julia Sugden said Wednesday.
McLaurin was jogging along Lake Jackson Drive near Dumfries Road between 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Friday when he was hit, according to Sugden. Shortly thereafter, Sugden said she called McLaurin, wondering why he hadn't come home. She said he answered, complained his back hurt and didn't remember where he was.
The family called police to help them search, eventually finding McLaurin over the side of a bridge embankment when they saw a light from his cellphone. Sugden had told him to turn it on.
Now, less than a week later, McLaurin is cracking jokes from his hospital bed, and while he has months of rehab ahead of him, he is expected to make a full recovery.
"That is what's getting us through," Sugden said.
But with their son's health no longer in doubt, Sugden and her husband, Larry, have turned their attention to finding the driver who hit their son and never stopped.
"We need closure," Larry Sugden said. "Ethan really wants closure. That is the big thing right now. He wants to know who did it, why they did it, and in his own words, he said he wants to be able to forgive them. You can't forgive somebody if you don't know who it is."
Prince William County police are asking anyone with any information regarding the crash to call 703-792-7000.
A GoFundMe page for McLaurin can be found here.