11-year-old taken by Lifeflight to hospital Monday; crash under investigation

     An 11-year-old Portland boy was injured Monday, Aug. 7 in Rainier, when a go-kart he was sitting in crashed into a tree and rolled down an embankment while being towed by a pickup truck.

The boy's uncle, Brandon McKay, 22, of Rainier, reported the crash to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 8:50 p.m. when the go-kart McKay was towing behind his truck began to veer off the road while his nephew was sitting inside. When the go-kart went off the road it hit a tree and began to slide down an embankment while tipping on its side.

The boy, who was not identified by name, was transported to Emanuel hospital by Lifeflight after the crash. As of Tuesday morning, the boy was still in intensive care, according to a CCSO release.

McKay told investigators before the crash he went Nicolai Cutoff Road and Wilbur Road to check on the boy and to tell him it was time to come home. The boy, who was in the Rainier area to visit his grandparents but lives in Portland, asked his uncle to help him tow the go-kart back to the house.

The boy offered to ride in the go-kart to steer the vehicle, while wearing a helmet and safety harness. McKay said he began to tow the go-kart down the road between 15 and 20 miles per hour, when it began to veer right. McKay stopped his vehicle, but the go-kart was already off the road, the release added.

McKay voluntarily submitted to drug and alcohol testing and preliminary results indicate he was not intoxicated, the CCSO release adds. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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