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Pocatello teen survives hit and run accident

Hit and run victim
Josh Ware recounts what happened when he was hit by a car Saturday evening.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A Pocatello teen is lucky to be alive after a terrifying hit and run accident.

17-year-old Josh Ware was walking on the shoulder of South Bannock Highway when he was hit by a large SUV.

"All of a sudden I just kind of started flying through the air and I basically completely collapsed. I didn't know what really happened until a few minutes later I saw a car drive off and then I realized I got hit," Josh said.

It happened just before 8:00 pm Saturday night. Josh was thrown well off the side of the road, knocked unconscious and laying in the ice and snow with temperatures near 15 degrees. When he came to, he said he realized he had to try and get help.

"When I realized my whole left side wasn't working I decided to just lay on my right side to crawl to my phone and call my mom or 911 and try and get help but my phone wasn't working because it was covered in snow," Josh said.

For the next half hour, he laid alongside of the road in the freezing conditions. Car after car passed by not seeing him or hearing his cries for help.

We asked Josh if there was ever a point he thought he wouldn't make it. He replied, "The whole time... My whole left side was stopped and I couldn't feel nothing and I thought I wasn't going to make it if I moved any further than my phone. I was passing in and out and I barely can remember much of it. It was scary."

That's when Josh's survival training kicked in. He had taken CNA classes and was involved in scouting. The training may have saved his life he said.

"It really helped, trying to remain calm and remember like what I need to do, to first assess what happened to see what I need to do to keep myself alive. One of the first things I did was I had my mother's scarf and that's one of the first things I did was I laid on my side and I put that under my head to keep me warm," said Josh.

Finally someone who lived across the highway heard his screams for help and called 9-1-1. Josh's mom, Katherine Ware, got the call her son had been hit by an SUV and left in the freezing conditions.

Katherine said, "It's frustrating as a mom, Just knowing that someone would leave someone in the snow like that and just go. It's frustrating and I was angry, but I'm really thankful."

He was hit so hard that it took off the side mirror and the headlight assembly. Katherine said serial numbers found on the pieces of the SUV that were left at the scene were instrumental in helping police find the SUV involved in the accident.

Josh spent Sunday and most of Monday recovering from major surgery for a severely broken arm. After his release Monday from Portneuf Medical Center, he went back to the scene of the accident.

He wanted to find a school ring that was a graduation present from his Mom. The impact of the accident was so strong it knocked the ring off his finger.

Josh says he now just needs to heal and focus on the future. "I can't go and cry over a broken arm and get anything done, so I will just keep working and keep moving," Josh said.

Both Josh and his mom say they are grateful he is still with us. Josh said. "I'm just glad I'm alive".

According to police, Alexandrea Kay Vargason, 33, was located at the McDonald's restaurant in Chubbuck at around 2:55 a.m. Monday. She was initially charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Alexandrea Vargason
Alexandrea Vargason
Crime Tracker / Local News / Pocatello
Linda Larsen

Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.



  1. Well….that’s alright, Josh. I’m sure Ms. Petunia’s shyster will explain how-thanks to the attention/help of a human being nearby–she didn’t actually ‘endanger’ your life (you young guys are pretty much unaffected by hypothermia anyway, aren’t you?) and so its PROBATION shouldn’t be all THAT long, anyway.
    Since it NEEDS to have transportation–to and from McDonald’s (Burger King, Jack-in-the-Box, etc.)–to do something as DRACONIAN as suspend its driver’s license, it’ll likely be a BIG ‘fine’, which waddles won’t be able to pay, so….
    My comment is sarcasm/cynicism based on how a similar–but much more egregious–CRIME was handled
    by Bonneville County’s ‘prosecutor’ a year or so back, but does NOT mean I have indifference to the reality of your plight. I wish you the best in a complete recovery from being injured by one of our area’s MANY ‘drivers’.

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