Buhler community rallies around high schooler paralyzed after crash

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RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) A 16-year-old boy is paralyzed after a car accident Friday in Reno County, according to the family.

(Submitted by family)

Deputies say a small pickup truck was traveling westbound on east 4th Avenue when the driver lost control on slick roads and veered into a ditch. The pickup then rolled several times. Raiden Stewart was trapped inside.

Hutchinson firefighters extracted Raiden from the pickup, and he was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment.

His mother, Tara Stewart, says her son Raiden had surgery Saturday. She says he is paralyzed from the chest down and has limited arm movement. He fractured his spinal cord and will most likely not be able to walk again. He also has damage to his vertebral artery.

Stewart says her son is a Buhler High School junior who is part of the wrestling and football team. He just took first place at the Douglas Varsity Wrestling Tournament and recently took second place at the Abilene Varsity Wrestling Tournament.

Raiden's coaches say he inspired people on the football field and on the wrestling. While the prognosis is difficult, they say Raiden is already making strides in his recovery.

"His mental toughness will probably help carry him along as well. Not just his physical strength," said Buhler wrestling coach, Mike Zeyen.

"He has a big heart," said Buhler High School head football coach, Steve Warner. "He knows he can handle it and he's going to fight."

Warner said a lot of students have traveled to see Raiden and his family.

His mom is asking for thoughts and prayers in this difficult time.

After he is released from the hospital, Raiden will go to a spinal rehabilitation center in either Denver or Omaha. Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses. There is also a fundraiser, Spangles Night Out For Raiden, set for Tuesday (Jan. 21) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Spangles located at 120 east 4th Avenue (Hutchinson). Some of the proceeds will be given to the family.