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High School Swimmers Hurt In Drunk Driving Crash On The Mend

khts_sportsMaggie Hanson, the Hart High senior who was involved in a car crash with an alleged drunk driver on The Old Road in Newhall, will compete next weekend in the Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine.

Hanson, who finished fifth in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly in the CIF Southern Section Division I finals, hurt her arm, neck and shoulders in the crash on Saturday night. She missed the CIF Masters Meet in Long Beach on Tuesday because of the injuries from the car crash.

Kearsten Livingstone, a senior swimmer at Canyon High, was also in the car when the crash happened. Her injuries are a little more serious and might keep her out of competition for a while.

She practiced for the first time since the crash on Thursday and said she was undecided if she would compete in the Speedo Grand Challenge which starts on May 28.

"I'm taking baby steps," Livingstone said. "It felt good to be in the water again. It hurt, but I had to stick it out."

Livingstone said she was diagnosed with whiplash and had to wear a neck brace for a few days. The motion in her neck and shoulders was limited and she had a CT scan to determine if she fractured any bones in her neck or arms. The CT scan results were negative, but they did reveal that she had damage to her muscles and ligaments.

"I don't think it's going to set me back too far," she said. "I just missed a few days of practice."

Livingstone was second in the 100 butterfly and ninth in the 100 backstroke at the CIF Southern Section Division I finals. In both races, she posted All-America times.

Marisa Hanson, Maggie’s mom, said her daughter experienced dizzy spells and headaches in the days after the accident.

“It was kind of a sour note to end their high school careers,” Marisa Hanson said. “They went through a lot that night.”

Hart swim coach Steve Neale said in an e-mail that Maggie Hanson was back in the water on Thursday.

“She’s a tough cookie. Her arm was hurting. KT (Livingstone) was a little more banged up,” Neale said.

Neale said Hanson and Livingstone would have most likely finished in the top four in the 100 butterfly at the Masters Meet and contributed to their school’s relay teams.

A third girl, Hart junior Haley Niner, was also in the car when the crash occurred.

Hanson will swim for Oregon State next year. Livingstone is headed to UC Berkeley.

The alleged drunk driver, Brian Donnelly of Hawaii, was arrested for driving under the influence and hit and run. He was booked and released from Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station.

Further details on the crash, which is being investigated by the CHP, were unavailable.