Austin community celebrates Wyatt Hamlin’s homecoming

(ABC 6 News) – After ten weeks, Wyatt Hamlin has finally returned home.

The 16-year-old was rushed to Mayo Clinic in July, recovering from devastating injuries he suffered in a car crash caused by an alleged drunk driver.

Thursday afternoon Wyatt was led through the streets of Austin by a procession of Austin Police and Fire Rescue. On the way to his home, they passed by a crowd of students and faculty at Austin High School, cheering on the return of their classmate.

Wyatt is grateful for all the support he’s gotten from the community.

“It means a lot to me like it makes me feel good inside to know they support me like that,” said Wyatt.

He’s excited to be back home with his friends and family, as well as to finally sleep in his own bed again.

A group of Wyatt’s friends from his hockey team came over to celebrate with him. They would visit him often in the hospital but are happy to now see him in his own home.

“We’ll do a lot of stuff with him,” said his friend Grady Carney. “Definitely like get together with him a lot to welcome him home and everything like that.”

Wyatt is making progress on his recovery every day, but still has a long road ahead, with physical therapy and another surgery in the near future. Unfortunately, this means he will miss out on playing hockey this season.

“Kinda sucks cause I missed last season too, cause of my shoulder, and then having to miss this season sucks, especially since I’m gonna be manager this year, so I’m gonna have to watch it all and not play,” said Wyatt.

Wyatt is glad he will still get to be a part of the team and be there to support his friends. He plans to spend the next two weeks before he goes back to school resting and spending time with his loved ones. He’s excited to finally be back home.

The man accused of hitting Wyatt, 23-year-old Jeffer Lorenzo, is currently being held in Mower County Jail on a number of charges, including criminal vehicular operation. His trial is scheduled to start on Oct. 16.