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Heroic efforts saved Sunnyside High School student

TUCSON – 16-year old Martin Huerta is a typical teenager. He goes to Sunnyside High School, has a lot of friends and loves Lebron James. But his life changed forever on December 16.

Huerta and his friend were driving quads down west Valencia Road when they were tragically struck by a vehicle.

“Car came straight on and hit us. It was a big accident. It was really rough, a lot of injuries,” said Huerta.

Just by chance, Chance Barnes was a few cars back and jumped in to help.

“Martin’s pants were on fire,” said Barnes. “So I ran up to him to put it out and then I told everyone to get out. Made sure everyone was out of all the vehicles, pulled everyone back along the barrier in case any of the machines flew up.”

Huerta’s right leg had to be amputated. But thanks to Chance Barnes’ heroic efforts, Huerta got a second chance at life.

“When life knocks you down, you have to find a way to get back up and be strong. You’re going to be the same, just new things,” said Huerta.

Huerta will get his prosthetic in three months with the help of Encompass Health and Rehabilitation of Tucson. They have partnered with Hanger Prosthetics to help amputees like Huerta get back on track.

“Care with the rehabilitation with all the therapies, and we also fit them with an artificial prosthesis or a leg. The fact that he is young and everything that he has gone through, even though it’s pretty devastating, I think is fairly bright. He’s very motivated and he’s come along way and he’s very excited to keep going,” said Rehabilitation Physician Dr. Parmod Mukhi.

Huerta said he finds strength through support from his friends and family. He hopes to use his story to help other amputees.

Since their chance encounter, Chance and Martin have stayed in touch and are planning to get together soon.

Heart of Illinois ABC

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