By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A stranger saved a teen close to death after an ATV accident.

“He saved our sons life. Joshua was so close to death, he was unconscious and we don’t know how long, may have been 5 or 10 minutes he was laying there before this truck driver saw him and if he didn’t see him he had minutes left,” mom Cheryl Bouley said.

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Fourteen-year-old Josh Bouley was riding his ATV last Friday to a relative’s house when he crashed in Anoka County. WCCO was there when he met truck driver Doug Clarke.

“Hey bud, how are you? You look a lot better right now,” Clarke said.

Bouley’s family has waited to say” “You gave us a gift back, you gave us our son,” Cheryl Bouley said.

Josh crashed his ATV off highway 65 and Sims Road in Anoka County.

“I was driving for a few miles and then I don’t remember any part of the accident,” Josh Bouley said.

Clarke saw several cars drive by the crash site at dusk. The 4-wheelers headlight caught his eye.

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“Locked up the brakes on my truck, pulled over to the side, ran up to him,” Clarke said.

An Army Combat Lifesaver Course kicked in for the Reserve soldier.

“Supported his head, put his knees on my shoulder so his head was supported. He was gasping for air,” Clarke said.

Doug called 911 and Josh was airlifted to HCMC Level 1 pediatric trauma center, where doctors did an emergency surgery to remove his spleen and stop the bleeding. He suffered a mild brain injury, broken rib and swelling in his neck. Josh is aware how dire the situation was.

“Because I could have died if he hadn’t been there at that time,” Josh Bouley said.

The Bouley’s are forever grateful to a stranger who now feels more like family.

“Thank you so much,” Josh said to Doug.

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Josh has made progress each day, but he requires intensive rehabilitation. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with his mounting medical bills.

Jennifer Mayerle