A rock bar, a 6-foot long metal spear used in digging to break through rocks, impaled a 10-year-old boy and his mother after their truck was rear-ended in Ennis on Wednesday.
The family's Ford Ranger pickup truck was hit from behind at the intersection of Highway 287 and Highway 34 at about 4:30 p.m.
The impact launched a rock bar in the truck's bed through the back of the truck, into T.J. Vaught's back. The rock bar then passed through the front passenger seat and into the child's 38-year-old mother, Christa Vaught.
"I took my seatbelt off not knowing it had pierced my back, and I just wanted to make sure my son in the back seat was OK," she said. "And that's when I looked down, and I saw that it had pierced his leg."
"[My] backpack was the only thing that stopped it," T.J. said.
It took rescue crews close to an hour to free him from the vehicle by cutting off the top of the truck.
Emergency crews made jokes with T.J. to try and keep him calm during the process. He was conscious and talking when he was transported to Children's Medical Center in Dallas with part of the rock bar still lodged in his body.
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"He didn't cry. He wanted to," said the boy's mother.
Christa Vaught was taken to Parkland Hospital and released on Thursday. T.J. was taken to Children's Medical Center and was expected to be released Thursday night.
"At one point I saw him smile and laughing," Cochran said. "It's safe to say he's doing fairly well considering his injuries."