Accident in Cayman Islands leaves Midlothian teen on life support

Posted at 10:34 PM, Apr 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-08 23:40:13-04

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- Friends and coaches are praying for a young man’s speedy recovery.

News of Harrison Zierenberg's spring break accident late Monday that left him in serious condition spread fast through his Midlothian community, even though it happened more than a thousand miles away.

According to Paul Kennedy, a news reporter for Cayman 27, Zierenberg is on "life support" with "serious head trauma."

Friends and neighbors we talked to say Zierenberg is a young man with ambition and big dreams.

Midlo Teen

“He is very active in athletics, especially lacrosse, and active in the leadership program at school," said neighbor Gregory Loomis.

That leadership program is at James River High where  Zierenberg, a sophomore, plays varsity lacrosse.

"He’s a great kid, very athletic and outgoing, would give you the shirt off his back," said James River lacrosse coach Rob Helsley.

While on spring break, vacationing with his family in the Cayman Islands, Zierenberg was crossing the road near a hotel when he was hit by a minivan. That information came from a Cayman Island reporter and from his mother’s Facebook page.

"Everybody in the medical field is doing the best they can to help him,” said Loomis.  “He's a strong kid. Hopefully he's on the mend and will heal."

Zierenberg's lacrosse coach says he's a tough kid and always up for a challenge.  The road to recovery may be his biggest challenge yet. The teen’s condition is called “serious” by the island hospital, but a neighbor says he would call it critical.

His coach asks you for prayers not only for Zierenberg, but also his friends and family.

"I always tell my kids I love them and hug them tight, because you just never know,” said Helsley. “Bad things can happen to good people."

The driver of the minivan was arrested and charged with dangerous driving. He was released on Wednesday. There's no timetable yet on when Zierenberg will be stable enough to be transferred back to a hospital stateside.