Skyline H.S. student returns home after crash; race planned in honor of victims
IDAHO FALLS — A Skyline High School student has returned home after being seriously injured in a crash that killed two teenagers and critically injured a woman.
Nickolas Kirby, 15, was in a vehicle with Ivy Vigliotti and Asher Strubel, both 15, when they collided with another vehicle at the intersection of 45th W. and 17th S. on May 22. Ivy and Asher both died and Nick was rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in critical condition. Brittney Jamesen, the 31-year-old woman in the other vehicle, was also hospitalized at EIRMC. Her unborn baby died and she is continuing to recover.
“The doctors were telling us not to expect him to be back to normal and they said they didn’t know what to expect,” Melissa Kirby, Nick’s mother, tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They couldn’t give us any idea because brain injuries are just so unknown.”
Nick was in a medically induced coma for two and a half weeks as his family prayed for his recovery. When he woke up, doctors were amazed at how well his body responded to treatment.
“He just did so well in therapy,” Melissa says. “He’s an athlete and so his body knew how to work hard. They said that was a really good benefit for him.”
After spending a month at EIRMC, Nick was transferred to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Doctors expected him to stay anywhere from four to eight weeks but he was released to go home after just 14 days.
“I asked (his doctor) if he was on track and if this was typical,” says Dustin Kirby, Nick’s dad. “She told me no and that’s she’s never seen anything like this before. It’s the fastest she’s ever seen in a recovery.”
Nick says the best thing about being home is sleeping in his own bed and not having to eat hospital food. He’s able to walk around the house and even plays basketball with his brothers.
“I’m doing good and I’m just happy to be home because hospitals aren’t the funnest or most interesting of places,” Nick says with a smile.
One of Nick’s first public outings will be to the RUN 2 Remember 1 Town 1 Run race at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls Saturday. The event was organized to honor him and the other crash victims with all proceeds going to the families of those impacted that day.
Eli Sorenson, one of Nick’s best friends who is also on the Skyline cross country team, came up with the idea while Nick was in a coma.
“I didn’t feel like I could do anything at the hospital so it was kind of helpful to me that this was something I could do,” Sorenson says.
Nick plans to walk or ride a bike in the race as he continues to recover. He has months of rehabilitation ahead of him but he wants to be back on the track as soon as he can.
The Kirby family says they have been overwhelmed by the kindness of friends, family members and strangers. They were in the middle of moving into a new home on the day of the crash and members from their LDS church ward completed the move so the family could stay at the hospital with Nick.
Members of Nick’s basketball team installed a fence at the Kirby’s home and donations from all over the world have helped pay medical bills.
“We want to thank the community for what they’ve done because it has truly been a blessing in our lives to see how they’ve all come together,” Dustin says.
Melissa adds, “We decided we live in the most amazing community. It’s amazing how much people have done for all of the families.”
The RUN 2 Remember 1 Town 1 Run 5K race will begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, July 15 on the corner of Pier View Drive and Milligan Road at Snake River Landing. All proceeds go to the families of the victims. Click here for more information and to register for the race.
FUNDS FOR OTHER CRASH VICTIMS
A GoFundMe account has been established for Brittney Jamesen. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE PAGE.
A GoFundMe account has been established for the family of Asher Strubel. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE PAGE.
A GoFundMe account has been established for the family of Ivy Vigliotti. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE PAGE.