'I was afraid I was going to go to sleep and not wake up'
JEFFERSON, Ore. - It's still not easy for Juan Barrera to get around.
He just got home from the hospital and has dozens of stitches and bruises all over his body. He's in tremendous pain and grimaces just trying to lie down on the couch.
Juan lived through a terrible crash that killed his friend, Nicolas Jolly, and injured his other friend, Brandon Curtiss.
Police say the car that Nicolas was driving was going as fast as 100 mph.
"I remember waking up and looking up ahead, and I remember the front of the car and the two axles were down the street," Juan recounted Thursday.
The car was speeding over a large hill on Valley View Road Southeast near Duck Flat Road when the crash happened Saturday night.
Juan was in the passenger's seat. Nicolas was driving. Juan says the drive was supposed to be quick - just five or 10 minutes. He says he didn't know that part of the road is called, "Roller Coaster Hill."
While a lot of people have sped over that hill for the purpose of an adrenaline rush, Juan says that wasn't the case at all for them.
"I found out after - a lot of people were telling me that that's what they called it," he said, referring to the name "Roller Coaster Hill."
He knows all too well now.
He says when he saw that half the car was somewhere else, "I couldn't breathe. I didn't know what happened. I was confused."
He could hear Brandon from the back of the car yelling his name. He remembers someone had a knife so he could cut himself loose from the seat belt.
"I was gasping to him, asking him for the knife," Juan said.
Then he remembers a stranger.
"I looked up, and I was asking for someone, 'Please talk to me; I don't want to go to sleep; I don't want to go to sleep.' And someone with curly hair - he was really nice. He came to me, and he was keeping me awake," Juan said. "I was afraid I was going to go to sleep and not wake up."
Now he wants to tell others about his mistake - its consequences and the loss of a good friend.
"It was fun at the moment, but it never turns out to be fun," he said. "What I really loved about Nick was he was a hard worker. I looked up to him. I'm just sorry it happened."
A memorial sits where the crash happened. People left notes on the utility pole that had to be replaced. One note says, "Nick is gone, but never forgotten."
Juan hopes the lesson learned there will also be remembered.
The funeral for Nicolas is set for Friday.