Survivor Of Fremont Crash Responding, Able To Move A Little

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The only Fremont teen who survived a crash Monday night was taken off medication Thursday morning that kept him in a medically-induced coma.

Sixteen-year-old Jake Burnside has since moved an arm and moved his head from side to side. He remains unconscious at Alegent Creighton University Medical Center. Jake was injured in the crash that killed his three friends, Jackson Blick, Trey Hansen and Tyler Walling.

"There was just a little bit of movement here and there,” said Jake’s father, Carter Burnside. “The nurse asked him to wiggle his right toes and he wiggled his right toes and she asked him to squeeze his right hand and he squeezed his right hand."

“People that were there for the other boys came to see Jake and people that know Jake but don't know them are in support of them, so basically with these four boys there's just been so much support from each of the individuals,” said Jake’s sister Cassie Burnside. "Some of the people that come in, they don't even need to come into the room, just them going and sitting there is enough, just being there for everyone."

"I know that when he wakes up he is going to be proud to be from Fremont, to live in the town that supports their fellow Fremonters the way that they have,” said Carter.

Diane Griffiths and Debbie Riley were among dozens sharing moments made easier just by their presence at the hospital on Wednesday. "Every once in a while then somebody would burst out with a wail of sobs and then it would kind of, well the domino effect, somebody else, then somebody else,” said Riley, a family friend.

“First you think the worst and in this case, unfortunately for three families it was the worst,” said Griffiths, also a friend of the family.

"He had something done to his sixth vertebrae and they fused some things together so that it is properly around his spinal cord,” said Carter. Wednesday's surgery went well, but Jake’s dad still can't talk to his son and he can't remember what his last words were to Jake. “Make sure that you tell your children you love them on a consistent basis."

His family isn't sure how they're going to tell him his friends are gone. The Burnside family released this statement on Wednesday:

"Jake has a tough road ahead, but we remain very optimistic," said Carter and Karen Burnside. "[Our] family is proud to be part of the caring, loving community of Fremont."

The Burnside family asks the community to keep the other victims' families in thought and prayer.


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