18-year-old Exeter girl in ICU recognized at her graduation

On the school's track is where America Fernandez was supposed to sit next to her classmates.

But that accident has left her in a coma on one of the biggest nights of her life.

As Exeter Union High School's seniors prepared to walk into Monarch stadium to turn their tassels, one graduate was not able to join them.

18-year-old America Fernandez is still recovering at Community Regional Medical Center after being hit by a car more than a week ago.

She is still in the ICU.

America and her boyfriend, Ricardo Isais, were both hit by a jeep while walking back to school from lunch near State Route 65 and Sequoia.

The devastating news has been hard on the entire town since the crash.

In a Facebook post, Cynthia Fernandez Calderon, talked about how proud she is of her sister, adding that the salutatorian overcame all odds after moving to the United States three and half years ago as a sophomore.

She says her family is not losing hope and continues to rely on faith to get them through this challenging time.

And while America will not be in attendance on graduation night, her absence and hard work were acknowledged.

Ricardo was able to make it to the graduation.

He is currently in a wheelchair and according to close friends, is slowly recovering.
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