EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Greenwich High School senior who was hit by a car while leaving school earlier this week remains hospitalized, and his family tells 12 News he’ll need to undergo three surgeries on his road to recovery.
Juan Aguilar, 17, was walking out of school and into the parking lot at dismissal time on Monday afternoon when he was hit by a driver.
12 News spoke to his older brother, who said his parents were picking up Juan that day to bring him to a dentist appointment.
“My parents were waiting in line in the busy parking lot and they had seen my brother walk out of the school, and that’s when a wave of people, students crossing, cars going by,” Victor Aguilar said. “All of the sudden, a crowd of people were huddling over something, someone. My parents rushed out, thinking the worst, and obviously, then they saw my brother.”
East Greenwich Police Chief Stephen Brown called the incident an “unfortunate accident” and said no charges were filed against the driver. Brown said other parked cars and the inclement weather contributed to either Juan not seeing the driver or vice-versa.
Victor said while his brother was seriously injured in the incident, he’s now on the mend.
“He is recovering slowly,” Victor said. “He has fractured teeth and gums, he has a left leg abrasion, a dislocated ankle … He was banged up pretty bad. Lip laceration through and through, a couple of bruises around his neck.”
“His teeth are all messed up, so they need to kind of like fix them up,” he continued. “He’s gonna have to have wires because his jaw is fractured, so it’s out of place right now.”
Juan remains at Hasbro Children’s Hospital where Victor said he’ll soon undergo three surgeries.
“It’s a huge bummer for him. It’s his last year, last year of high school, so him having to miss out on his last couple months in high school … Must be a huge bummer for him,” Victor said.
Upon hearing what had happened, the community rallied around the Aguilar family. A GoFundMe page was created to help cover Juan’s medical expenses, and in just one day, it raised more than $30,000.
“The goal was $10,000. I thought, ‘oh, that’s a lot of money. I don’t think we’ll get that much. Maybe half will be pretty cool,'” Victor said. “In a matter of hours, that goal was met and we surpassed it. We honestly cannot believe it.”
The restaurant where Juan’s father works as a chef, Condesa Restaurante Mexicano in Warwick, is even holding a fundraiser for the family next Monday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Half of the proceeds will go toward Juan’s recovery.
“It’s been pretty cool seeing the community kind of get together like that,” Victor said. “I just really want to thank the East Greenwich community, friends and family … It’s crazy to see how much money people have been donating, we’re obviously so grateful.”
In a statement to 12 News, East Greenwich Superintendent Alexis Meyer said staff members have been in contact with the Aguilars and are offering their support.
“The care and concern of the East Greenwich community is evident in times of need,” she wrote. “On behalf of the entire East Greenwich community, we offer our support and care to our student, his family, and his friends.”