Four Clearview High School students and friends were on their way home from an ice cream parlor in Woodstown on April 7 when their vehicle was hit head on, causing severe injuries to one of the passengers.
Julia Buck, who was sitting in the rear of the car behind the driver, was on the phone with her mother Jennifer just before impact.
“I heard a big, loud scream, and then she hung up on me,” Jennifer recalled.
“The car pretty much looked like a tin can after it was hit,” said Ashley Levinson, a friend of the Buck family.
The driver of the car was hurt, but Julia suffered the most serious injuries because she sat directly at the point of impact. She had to be airlifted to Cooper University Hospital and after 51 hours of emergency surgery, she was placed on a ventilator for two weeks. Her injuries included a broken neck, broken femurs, and a broken pelvis.
Julia also suffered from pneumonia for a week, forcing doctors to wait 14 days before performing surgery on her pelvis and left arm.
Family and friends held a barbecue fundraiser for the teen on May 16 and proceeds went directly to the Buck family. Julia’s first grade teacher was in attendance, along with Mantua Mayor Pete Scirrotto and Deputy Mayor Bob Zimmerman.
“The community has been amazing: Mantua schools, Clearview teachers — it’s just been amazing,” said Jennifer.
Julia has been at Weissman Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital since May 10. She is expected to remain there for about three to five weeks.
To make a donation to the Buck family to help pay medical expenses, visit her GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/41c3bd2d