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Published October 19, 2011, 05:17 PM

Grand Forks Man in Critical Condition at Twin Cities Hospital After Motorcycle Crash

Johnson suffered severed spinal column in crash
GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A motorcyclist injured in a Wednesday evening crash has been transferred from Altru Hospital in Grand Forks to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A motorcyclist injured in a Wednesday evening crash has been transferred from Altru Hospital in Grand Forks to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

A representative of HCMC said at 11 a.m. Thursday that Benjamin Johnson, 18, was in critical condition.

Johnson's nurse said his family was at his side, but didn't want to talk over the phone due to the extremely emotional circumstances.

According to a CaringBridge site set up by family members, Johnson suffered a severed spinal column, two broken ribs, minor lacerations, and two small perforations in his left lung.

The site says Johnson has full use of his arms and hands, but has no feeling or movement below his mid-chest. He's scheduled for surgery on October 24.

Johnson's Facebook profile was filled with well wishes from friends. One of them said, "Ben, we are all thinking and praying for you! Stay strong, never give up, have faith and everything will work out for the best! Can't wait until you are back home! Rest and heal up!"

Johnson is the son of Grand Forks Freedom Church pastor Nathan Johnson.

Police say Johnson was driving his 2005 Suzuki RT south on Evergreen Drive just before 2 p.m.

He apparently failed to navigate a small curve in the road and went up over the curb, hit a mailbox and was thrown from the vehicle.

A witness said that Johnson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and there were no other vehicles involved.

Assisting officers at the scene was the Grand Forks Fire Department.

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