A Ponca City teen hospitalized after crashing a bicycle into a moving school bus was welcomed home.
Julian Aguilar, 13, was riding a bicycle down a steep driveway on April 2 at the intersection of Prentice Road and East South Avenue, east of Ponca City.
Aguilar lost control and crashed into a moving Ponca City school bus. Eight students were on the bus at the time of the crash. Neither they nor the bus driver were hurt.
Hospitalized for over four months in St. Louis, Aguilar was released and returned home Friday to his community that welcomed him with opens arms.
Ponca City High School teacher and coach, Wendy Landes, was among over 100 people that gathered at an intersection in Aguilar’s neighborhood. The group anxiously waited to welcome Aguilar home.
“(It is) extremely emotional,” Landes said. “I got to talk to him on the phone a few days ago when we called my son and let us know that he was coming home. It has been a whirlwind of emotion since then.”
Aguilar and family were escorted home by officers from the Ponca City Police Department and sheriff deputies.
“It’s going to be elated,” Lendes said. “People screaming, yelling, cheering, crying. You’re going to see all the tears from all of us mommas and individuals. It’s going to be a great moment.”
As soon as the police escort turned the corner and those who’ve missed Aguilar for months got a glimpse, that’s exactly what happened.
“Instantly coming around the corner, I think we all just started crying when we (saw) everybody,” said Ashley Aguilar, Julian’s mother. “Especially once we got closer down towards the corner and then we (saw) his grandparents and his immediate family.”
Coming home to familiar faces has never felt so good. A bracelet from a pro footballer player, Aguilar said, helped keep his spirit up.
“It reminds me and says never look back,” Aguilar said. “It reminds me don’t look back on the past and keep my head up and move forward.”
More surgeries are in the future for Aguilar, followed by rehab.
Aguilar is hoping to still be a part of his soccer and football teams, helping coach on the sidelines.