A Weber County woman and mother of two is fighting for her life in an Ogden hospital after being hit by a car while she was riding her bike in West Haven. Her family and friends are rallying by her side and hoping for the best.
On Sunday night, Antionette Castillo’s family received a phone call no one should ever get. “My heart dropped,” Alyssa Castillo told ABC4. “I felt sick to my stomach and initial shock.”
Alyssa Castillo is Antoinette’s sister. During that phone call she learned about her sister’s accident, and the severity of it.
Antionette Castillo (often referred to as Nea by family) lives in Riverdale. However, she was visiting her boyfriend in West Haven on Sunday night when the accident occurred.
“She’s stable and she’s making small improvements which are wins for us,” Alyssa Castillo stated. She explained that even now, four days after the accident, her sister remains heavily sedated. She explained that severe head trauma led to swelling on her brain. “We’re just taking it day by day and minute by minute.”
Castillo’s accident is just one of far too many across the state. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety there have been 312 auto-bicycle accidents this year; the result is 279 bicyclists’ injuries and 12 fatalities.
“It happens all the time with bicyclists, with motorists,” Ogden City Police Department Lt. Will Farr said. While Farr couldn’t speak on the details of Castillo’s crash, he said he’s saddened how often serious crashes involving bicycles are taking place in Utah. He continued, “It’s just important to be up to date on who has the right of way and what the best practices are with driving.”
He said drivers, bikers and pedestrians all need to be more aware of traffic laws and their surroundings. He encouraged bicyclists to obey all road laws and for drivers to double check before making a turn. He also stated that drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians need to make a habit of making eye contact with others while stopped at a light or stop sign. He said in doing so, many will be able to better understand the body language of the other person and what they intend to do next.
Castillo’s friends and family told ABC4 that her road to recovery is unknown currently. They don’t know how long she’ll be sedated, what doctors may be able to do to help her, or how long her recovery will take.
“We’re coming together and realizing the seriousness of the situation, but also, the little victories that Antoinette has in there, we’re celebrating them,” Kasha Malan stated. “We’re just not letting it get to us, we’re not losing faith because we know she can feel that positivity in there.”
Malan is another close friend. She’s also the stepmom to Castillo’s two young children.
“The four-year-old has asked a couple times where she’s been,” she said. “And how do you explain that to him? Our oldest is old enough to understand but (we have to) be delicate because it is a very serious situation.”
Malan said the two children are Castillo’s life. She said Castillo is the best mom and one of the kindest people around. A statement that half a dozen friends confirmed to ABC4.
“When you’re around her you’re happy, you’re upbeat, she’s so giving and she’s so kind, and she would do anything for you,” Kacee Metz said. Metz is another close friend. Since the accident, she has spent every day at McKay-Dee Hospital to be there for Castillo.
Sadly, Metz explained, Castillo doesn’t have insurance, so Metz created a GoFundMe account to help.
“Not only her hospital bills, but I can only imagine the follow-up from that and the rehab she’s going to have to do,” Metz stated.