Students awarded by GCPD for responding to accident




Two brothers received a surprise at Edith Scheuerman Elementary School Tuesday morning.

Twelve-year-old Israel Gonzalez and his brother, 8-year-old Aaron Gonzalez, received Garden City Police Department challenge coins for their assistance in helping 8-year-old Brian Palacio, after he was hit by a pickup while riding his bike on Nov. 9.

Garden City Police Officer Chris Stucky presented the challenge coins to the boys at an assembly held on their behalf.

"On Nov. 9 of this year, these two guys helped us out in a very big way. We got sent to a serious accident where a young boy was hit by a car while riding his bicycle," Stucky said to the third-graders and teachers at Edith Scheuerman. "These two young men were across the street, and they ran to the young boy's house and talked to his mother and told her what had happened, where she was able to help her son and to get police and EMS to come to the accident."

The accident occurred at about 4:46 p.m. Nov. 9 in the 2300 block of Dee Avenue.

Both Israel and Aaron were visibly surprised when Stucky shared the story of their heroism, as he presented them with challenge coins.

"I'd like to present both of you with a Garden City Police Department challenge coin. These challenge coins are given to every officer when they are hired on with the police department, and it's just a little token from us to you guys to thank you for what you did, because without your help, the little boy wouldn't have gotten help as soon as he did, so thank you very much," Stucky said.

Brian's parents, Richard and Amanda Palacio, and his grandmother, Susan Colbertson, were on hand for the presentation. Amanda Palacio had requested that the two brothers be recognized by the school and GCPD.

"I think every kid who does the right thing deserves an honor. It's really nice that people like this are around, and if anything bad happens, you guys do what you think is right to do," Palacio told the students.

Aaron and Brian are third-graders at the school. Aaron said that the accident was scary.

"My mom just heard the noise, and we went outside and it was Brian, my friend, and we ran to go tell his mom," Aaron said.

Israel, a seventh-grader at Horace J. Good Middle School, said he plans to display his coin, which says duty, honor and courage, in his room, reiterating his surprise about receiving it.

The boys' parents are Abel and Maria Gonzalez. Maria and their grandmother, Licha Vargas, also were on hand for the presentation.

"I'm very, very proud of them. They were really surprised by this. We tried to keep it a secret as long as we could," Maria Gonzalez said. "We're just really glad that Brian is OK."

Brian sustained a broken femur as a result of the accident.

"He's got a metal plate and a bunch of screws in his leg. He's got 27 staples running alongside his leg, so they didn't put a cast on it," Colbertson said.

As she said this, like any typical boy, Brian pointed out the staples and said, "It's right here."

Colbertson got choked up as the two boys were recognized.

"I'm just so glad he's still alive. We didn't know if he was alive or dead when we went out there. They said Brian got hit by a car. And we ran out there. He was sitting up, but we just couldn't imagine what it could have done. It was the worst thing ever," she said. "Those kids just did remarkably. They just did real good by letting us know."

Amanda Palacio said that she knew her son was OK as soon as she saw his reaction.

"When I got to him, he was up yelling at the guy, so I knew he was OK. He was mad about his bike," she said and laughed.

"It busted that bike into pieces," Colbertson said.

Brian said that the accident was scary and that he was grateful to his friends for helping him out.

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