Senior, Ruben Fuentes, returns to school after serious summer car crash

Brayden Startzer, Staff Writer

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Senior Ruben Fuentes returned to Greeley West on Tuesday, October 30th, still recovering from a dramatic car crash where he rode in the passenger seat while senior, Ivan Dominguez drove. The crash occurred in Platteville, Colorado on July 24, less than a month before the return to school.

The two students sat at a red light completely still and were rear ended hard enough to send them into oncoming traffic where they were T-Boned on the passenger side, where Fuentes sat. The person who caused the accident fled the scene completely and were never identified. Fuentes saw a much slower recovery than Dominguez, who returned to West right at the beginning of the year.

Dominguez spent almost three weeks in between hospitals in both Denver and closer to home in Greeley suffering from broken bones. Both students went unconscious shortly after the crash, and Fuentes remained in a comatose state for weeks, and stayed in the hospital for over a month. His coma was induced because of bleeding in his head.

“I can’t remember too much on the scene,” Dominguez said, recalling his experience. “The first time I remember seeing anything after the crash was when I woke up in the hospital in Denver.”

“I don’t remember seeing any cars coming at us, but I remember hitting my head on something in the car and then my head whipping around, then everything went white,” said Fuentes. “Everything was blurry for two days, it was scary because I didn’t even know if I would live.”

Fuentes returned to West with crutches after suffering two broken legs and nerve damage in one. He still struggles to walk normally, and will endure physical therapy for the next year until he has a full range of motion and can comfortably walk.

“I didn’t know how bad it was until I saw everyone posting that he needed their prayers,” said Odalis Canchola, a high school friend of Fuentes. “When I found out he had to stay in the hospital much longer, and even get transferred, that’s when I knew it was really bad.”

Fuentes’ mid-year return to West has proved to be relatively easy for him.  “I’m back to hanging out with my friends, and all of my classes have been good about catching me up. It’s good to be back,” said Fuentes.

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