Steamboat Springs A 15-year-old Hayden boy was seriously injured in a vehicle accident that occurred in the midst of Hurricane Charley.
Camryn Vilar, who is about to enter his sophomore year at Hayden High School, broke multiple bones when wind pushed an 18-wheeler onto the vehicle he was traveling in. He suffered a broken right femur, a crushed right arm, a broken collarbone, two broken ribs, a severed spleen and a broken left wrist, his mother, Deborah Armstrong said. He is being treated at the Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Fla.
The accident happened Aug. 13, when Vilar, his father, his half-sister and two other people were in a car, trying to escape Hurricane Charley. A truck driver lost control in the winds, crossed the median into oncoming traffic and collided with their car, rolling on top of it.
Vilar's 8-year-old half sister, Camille Vilar, died in the accident and his father, Rick Vilar, was seriously injured.
Hurricane Charley, which hit Florida on Aug. 13, caused the state billions of dollars in damage. It was the worst storm to hit the state since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Vilar was visiting his father for the summer. They had to flee his father's three-story townhome in Orlando and had hoped to reach the western part of the state before the hurricane struck, Armstrong said.
The accident happened on the Bee Line Expressway in east Orange County.
"It was just a miracle," Armstrong said of her son's survival.
The last week has been a physical and emotional battle for Vilar, who is in significant pain from his injuries and is mourning the loss of his sister.
"Every day is a big trial," his mother said.
It could take a year or more for Vilar, who played football and loved to snowboard, to recover.
His family is struggling to buy a special wheelchair that Vilar will need during his recovery, finding a way to fly him back home to Hayden and covering medical expenses that will not be paid by insurance.
Because of his injuries, Vilar might not be able to fly in a commercial airplane and it could cost more than $10,000 to get him home.
Plans are for Vilar to stay in the hospital until the end of the week, Armstrong said, and then go into a rehabilitation center.
She hopes that he can do his rehabilitation at home and is looking for ways to get him to Hayden by next week. The goal is to have Vilar back in Hayden and in school as soon as possible.
Armstrong believes he will have a better recovery at home, close to his friends and family.
"That is where he lives and that is where he loves it," Armstrong said.
An account has been sent up in Vilar's name at Wells Fargo Bank and other fund-raising events are in the works, Armstrong said.
Armstrong, who is works for the human resources department at the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., has worked on charity events during her years in Steamboat Springs.
"I've seen the community pull together so many times," Armstrong said.
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