Nick Mansell lost leg, suffered multiple fractures in crash that took his father's life

The young Taft boy critically injured in the motorcycle crash that took his father's life is showing signs of recovery despite suffering massive injuries.

Doctors treating 12-year-old Nick Mansell are cautiously optimistic said his cousin, Shana Lewis Sanders, in an email Tuesday night.

"He is by no means out of the woods yet but things are headed in the right direction," Sanders told Taft Midway Driller. "He is still in the ICU and expected to be in Los Angeles quite a bit longer."

Nick suffered a traumatic amputation of his left leg, multiple fractures of both arms and legs, a severe skull fracture, possible fractured vertebrae and other injuries.

He was taken first to Kern Medical Center, then transferred to Los Angeles Children's Hospital. for further treatment.

He has already undergone surgery to repair one arm, place a metal plate in his head and repair other injuries.

He tolerated the surgeries well, Sanders said.

After coming out of sedation, the doctors wanted to see if he would respond to family members and were encouraged.

"They were pleased with his response," Sanders said.

An MRI scan of the young boy's head was encouraging, Sanders said, and didn't show any signs of brain damage.

Surgeries scheduled for later in the week to repair some of the more severe injuries were moved up to Wednesday because of Nick's condition.

The young boy was injured in a crash between his father's motorcycle and a big rig at the intersection of Highway 33 and Wood Street about 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

Robert Mansell, 56, who was driving the motorcycle with his son sitting behind him, died in the crash.

The driver of the truck, Chad Harrelson, 36, of Bakersfield, was not injured.

Taft Chief of Police Ed Whiting said it may take another week to complete the investigation and determine the cause.