WASHINGTON — A search was launched for an 18-year-old jogger in Manassas, Virginia, on Dec. 7 after he told his parents over the phone that he was hurt and couldn’t remember what had happened.
His parents reported the phone call to police at approximately 5:35 p.m., who launched an extensive search for their son, Ethan McLaurin. He was eventually located over the side of a bridge embankment on Lake Jackson Drive, near Dumfries Road in Manassas.
McLaurin was flown to an area hospital with serious, but nonlife threatening injuries.
An initial investigation revealed that McLaurin was running on the east side of Lake Jackson Drive when he was struck by a vehicle sometime between 4:45 p.m. and 5:24 p.m. McLaurin fell off the bridge and landed on a rocky embankment below. Police say it’s possible the pine trees broke his fall.
The vehicle fled the scene.
Julia Sugde, McLaurin’s mother, told NBC Washington she became worried when she hadn’t heard from her son. He called him and McLaurin managed to answer, which is when he told her he was hurt and didn’t know where he was.
According to NBC Washington, Sugde told her son to turn on the flashlight on the back of his phone — as it was getting dark — and yell for help. When he arrived at the area with the search party, McLaurin’s father heard his son’s cries and saw the light from his phone.
“He is doing really well with his recovery,” Larry Sugden, McLaurin’s dad, tells NBC Washington. “He is actually doing better than expected in some areas.”
The investigation is ongoing. Police do not know the make or model of the vehicle, but say it may have sustained damage to the front right side of the hood, headlight or front bumper.
Below is a map of where McLaurin was found:
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