Teen injured in freak accident involving metal beam in New Jersey

NORTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The teenager who was injured in a freak accident in New Jersey and his father are speaking out.

They could see danger coming right at them, but there just wasn't enough time to avoid it.

And when a huge chunk of metal struck their car, Dillan Patel says he felt the pain right away.

"The pain wasn't as bad as it is right now, I don't know why, but it was a really sharp burning pain," said Dillan Patel, the victim.

It happened in the blink of an eye.

15 year-old Dillan spoke with Eyewitness News over the phone from his hospital bed, says first there was a loud boom under the car, and then the pain.

That pain came from this massive chunk of metal that came through the floor board of his father's Toyota Camry, and then through the front passenger seat he was sitting in.

It pierced him in the back of his left thigh.

The teenager says he and his father saw it lying on Route 1 in North Brunswick, but there wasn't enough time to swerve out of the way.

"It was a really loud like crashing noise. I didn't know what it was at first until my dad told me what it was," Dillan said.

"It made a loud noise, so I'm thinking my tire just blew or something and at the same within a millisecond, I can hear my son screaming. He's just screaming, 'Ow, ow, ow,' and I can see the blood," said Alpesh Patel, the victim's father.

It was a horrifying moment for Dillan's father, who says in a moment of panic he immediately pulled over from the center lane to the shoulder without even checking to see if there were any cars in the right lane.

"I'm in shock, I don't even know how deep it is, or what exactly it is, or how sharp it is, or how far did it go inside of him. That's my biggest concern and exactly where in his body is it," Alpesh said.

That x-shaped piece of metal, poked through the passenger seat.

It is several feet long and about half-a-foot wide.

"It was unbelievable. I didn't know that much metal went into my thigh," Dillan said.

It happened just before 11 a.m. Friday.

Dillan needed nine stitches for the huge gash on his thigh.
Police don't know where the metal came from, but say it may be a brace that fell off a truck.

Dillan's father is just grateful it didn't hit any arteries or bones and that the injuries weren't permanent, or even worse, fatal.

"He was a trooper; I have to say, I think I was in bigger shock than he was. I mean all this time he hasn't shed a tear or anything you know he's been strong," Alpesh said.

Doctors at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital were initially going to release him Friday afternoon, but decided instead keep him overnight for observation.

He should make a full recovery, but he will need crutches in the meantime.
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