Teen falls from moving car

A Hickory teenager is recovering Thursday after falling from a moving vehicle earlier this week.

James Patrick Walton, 16, sustained head injuries during the fall and is in fair condition at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Walton was sitting on the trunk of a stationary 1995 Eagle Talon at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the residential area in the 700 block of 37th Avenue NE in Hickory.

Another teenager, Damion Alexander Sietz, 16, of Hickory, was also sitting on the vehicle’s trunk beside Walton.

The vehicle’s driver, 17-year-old Logan Dockery, of Hickory, started to accelerate, and Walton fell from the car and hit his head on the roadway, said Sgt. Cam Anderson of the Hickory Police Department.

According to HPD, Dockery is a licensed driver.

Anderson said he didn’t how quickly Dockery accelerated from a stationary position, and it is unknown what Dockery’s motivation was for starting the vehicle.

Also in the vehicle with Dockery were 16-year-old Dustin Dockery and 17-year-old Caleb Whitley, both of Hickory.

Walton was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center in a private vehicle, and he was later transported to CMC in Charlotte.

He was originally listed in critical condition, but he has been upgraded to fair condition.

“He is improving,” Anderson said.

One of Walton’s family members alerted HPD to the incident about six hours after it occurred.

Anderson said the boys were acquaintances and attended an area high school together.

HPD’s Traffic Safety Unit is investigating the incident, and Anderson said no charges have been filed at this point.

“Findings (from the investigation) will be submitted to the DA,” Anderson said.

The District Attorney’s office will then determine charges in the incident, if appropriate.

The legality of the incident is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based on many different factors, Anderson said.

Alcohol or drugs do not appear to be involved in the incident.