Teen doing community service loses arm in farm accident

Posted at 12:01 AM, Jan 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-30 05:36:44-05

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (WTVR)--While many of Clint Amaya's classmates are preparing for their last months of high school, the Spotsylvania teen will have to finish his school year from home.

Amaya had already served his 30-day juvenile detention sentence and was halfway through his 75 hours of community service when a freak accident altered his life forever.

Amaya is now recovering at home surrounded by balloons, well wishes and in bed, realizing the farming accident could've easily cost him his life.  “I can't sleep, man, all I do is see that thing and how it happened, man,” he said Tuesday.  “I feel so bad, I cry."

Amaya was working off his community service as part of a sentence handed down by a judge following a conviction for possession of stolen property in Spotsylvania County.

He was serving his time on a Culpeper farm when his arm got caught in an auger, used to dig holes for fence posts.  "I moved back and my arm hit the thing and it ripped my arm apart," said Amaya.

The teen said he shouldn't have been doing that kind of work.  “Supposedly my job was to clean up the horse’s poop and wash the horses and stuff but as soon as I get there, I'm building fences," he said.

But building fences is in the fine print of the work waiver Amaya's guardian had signed.

The farm owner did not want to talk on camera but told me she feels awful about what she calls an atrocious accident.  She said it's the first accident she's had in the ten years she's owned the farm.  She said she’ll change her policy on not letting anyone under the age of 18 near heavy equipment.

The Department of Juvenile Justice, which oversees Amaya's community service, said it is reviewing the policy, too.

A statement to CBS-6 Tuesday afternoon reads in part:

"Our thoughts are with this youth and his family.  As you can imagine, a detailed review is being conducted to find out exactly what occurred."

Wrapped in an ace bandage and on plenty of pain medication, Amaya will spend at least the next 11 weeks at home recovering.

When CBS 6 asked the farm owner in Culpeper why a teen from Spotsylvania was doing community service time there, she told me it's an agreement the neighboring counties have engaged in for years.

Amaya's family is trying to make sure such agreement doesn't happen again.