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SALT LAKE CITY — A Riverton teen remains hospitalized in a medically-induced coma, two weeks after Utah Highway Patrol troopers said he went into the travel lanes of I-15 to retrieve camping gear that had fallen onto the interstate and was struck by a car.
17-year-old Josue Soriano was critically injured by the Aug. 2 collision, which took place in the northbound lanes of the freeway near 9000 South.
“You don’t ever think it’ll happen to you or to your family,” Josue’s brother, Tony Soriano, said Monday. “It’s really surreal.”
Soriano said brain swelling was currently the biggest concern for his brother, who also has a fractured skull, two fractured vertebrae in his neck, a broken collarbone, as well as injuries to his spleen and liver.
“The moment they lay him down, the pressure starts skyrocketing,” he said.
Soriano said Josue was moving in response to touch or pain – which he said is considered a positive – but the teen’s prognosis remained uncertain pending reduction of the swelling.
“Until you go and look at him with all the tubes and all the IVs and what not, you don’t really believe it,” Soriano said.
Utah Highway Patrol has cautioned people to never enter the freeway to grab something.
"If there’s something on the road that you really, really need, give us a call and we’ll be happy to come and stop traffic so that this doesn’t happen," Sgt. Brady Zaugg said at the time of the collision.
Soriano sees a broader lesson in his brother’s case that applies to all families – never taking loved ones for granted.
“You never know when something like this is going to happen,” he said. “We always think we’ll see them tomorrow or ‘I’ll go visit them tomorrow’ or ‘I’ll do this,’ you know. There’s no better time than now.”
They have also set up an account through Zions Bank under Josue Soriano Donation, as well as a raffle.
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