A Loves Park mom and dad say a recent accident involving their teenage son has never had them more worried or proud. They say the boy sacrificed his safety to protect a friend.
Their son, Justice Weber, is one of the victims in Tuesday's accident near Harlem Junior High. The 13-year-old 8th grader and a female student were hit by an SUV. Justice's parents are still piecing together what happened that day. People who witnessed the accident told Justice's dad that his son and the girl were crossing the street together in the crosswalk right after school let out, when Justice reacted to a vehicle moving towards them.
"He grabbed the little girl that was next to him and instantly whipped her on his other side so that he took the initial brunt, so she wouldn't get hit by the car," says Justice's father, Charles Weber.
Charles says his son is a hero.
"I can't be guaranteed that many men would do that same thing in that situation. He didn't have time to think, it's instilled in him to protect, obviously. I'm extremely proud of him. His mother is proud of him. We can't be any happier for his actions. We're glad the little girl is fine," Charles explains.
The girl's family wrote Justice a note, expressing their thanks.
Police reported both kids sustained non-life threatening injuries, but Charles says the accident put his son through a lot. The girl returned to school, but Justice has spent the last two days at Rockford Memorial Hospital.
"The doctor came in and said that he had a ruptured spleen, he had a laceration in his kidney, he has a broken bone in his knee and obviously the surface injuries like the road rash, the black eyes, the cuts and scrapes," Charles says.
Justice's main concern isn't his injuries. It's his friend.
"That's all Justice has been asking about is 'How's Vanessa?' He hasn't even been worried about himself," Charles adds.
Charles says doctors are taking his son's recovery day-by-day. They're monitoring his spleen, but his blood work looks good. He might need a cast for the broken knee bone. Doctors could keep Justice at RMH into sometime next week.
Investigators say it might take a couple weeks to complete accident re-construction, which could determine who was at fault. They say the driver of the SUV is being cooperative.
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