WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington teen who lost an arm in a car accident is now recovering after two surgeries at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC.
Zachary Hunter's arm was severed Tuesday when the driver of the car he was in over-corrected and crashed into a guardrail in Johnston County.
Now, the Hunter family wants to spread awareness about the dangers of texting and driving.
Highway Patrol said 31-year-old Brad Venticinque and Hunter were traveling west on I-40 around 5:54 p.m. when Venticinque's car slightly ran off the road near Exit 334, causing him to over-correct.
Troopers said when Venticinque over-corrected, he ran into the median and then hit a guardrail before the car went in between or under some cables, which severed Hunter's right arm.
Troopers said a witness saw Venticinque get into another vehicle and leave the scene of the crash after EMS began treating Hunter. Charges are pending against Venticinque.
Hunter's Mother, Shannon Hunter said they have been at Duke Hospital since the date of the accident on June 17, and Zachary was forced to spend his 19th birthday in the hospital on June 18.
Hunter believes that Venticinque was texting during the time of the accident.
Hunter says her son has been put on many different pain medication, all of which did not work as well as they had hoped, so they put in a nerve block into his shoulder and that has helped and the pain has eased.
Hunter walked for the first time since the accident Saturday and was able to write his name with his left hand (he's right handed).
For the most part, Zachary's mother says he has been in good spirits with an occasional down period.
Hunter says he still has many doctors appointments and physical therapy appointments in the near future.