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Great Falls man seriously injured in crash returns home

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jan 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 12:51:25-05

GREAT FALLS — On September 3, 2023, 18-year-old Jace Buck was driving back to Great Falls when he was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash. His car rolled several times.

Buck was thrown from the vehicle and lay for about six hours in a field west of Great Falls. The property owner went outside to check his crops just before 7 a.m. and found Buck, and immediately called 911.

Buck was then taken by Mercy Flight helicopter to a Great Falls hospital. According to family members, Buck fell asleep while driving, woke up, and over-corrected; they say that he was not driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“I don’t remember hardly any of it, which I’m thankful for,” Jace Buck said.

Buck shattered his C7 in his neck, paralyzing him from the chest down. He spent the next two and a half weeks in the Great Falls ICU, before being transferred to Craig hospital in Denver. There, his lungs kept collapsing, leading him to be dependent on a ventilator, chest tube, and feeding tube for two weeks.

“The ventilator. It took away my voice. I couldn't eat. I couldn't eat solid food for about 40 days,” Buck said, “And yeah, it was it was definitely harder when I was on the ventilator to like, keep a good mindset, but somehow managed to. And now I'm doing much better.”

After four months with the Craig hospital rehab, Buck is back in Great Falls, where the community has come together to support him.

“It’s nice to see the city coming together. I'm very thankful for it,” Buck said, “You know, in rough situations, it's awesome when people come together to help you and it's going to do a lot for me.”

The benefit, held Saturday afternoon at the Little Chicago Club, helped raise money to make Buck’s home more accessible. The goal was to raise $5,000 to $10,000.

On top of medical bills, ramps will need to be installed in the home, the bathroom will need to be remodeled, and countless other changes are happening in Buck’s life. However, through it all he has remained optimistic.

Jace Buck

“The hospital, they had such great people,” Buck said, “…They always came into my room with smiles and it's hard to be upset when everyone around you smiles.”

Buck is an adrenaline junkie. He loves riding bulls, jumping cars, and doing any and all action sports he can. Even with the injury, he’s not letting that stop him, and is already looking for ways to get back to skiing using a sit-ski.

“I'm excited to get back to doing stuff like that,” Buck said, “It's going to be hard. It's just going to look a little different, but we'll get it done.”

While Jace Buck and his family have already seen a ton of support, you can still donate to his GoFundMe page by clicking here.