-- Nicholas Baer’s friends thought he had died.
The 12-year-old was walking on Carlsbad State Beach in California July 4, when a plane made an emergency landing, bouncing into the surf and tumbling across the beach. Nicholas was struck in the head.
“I was kind of transitioning to skimboarding, and then the plane just came down,” Nicholas said, speaking exclusively with ABC News for the first time since the incident.
His friends Titus Matsubara and Carson Scott didn’t know whether their friend was alive.
“We thought the plane was on top of him,” Titus said.
“Yeah, he started to move and then Titus is like, ‘He’s alive, he’s alive,’” Carson said.
While the pilot was uninjured, Nicholas suffered a concussion and fractured skull bone. Bystanders held him steady until paramedics arrived.
“I remember waking up and I’m going to the ambulance and going to the hospital,” Nicholas said.
Despite his injuries, Nicholas was released from the hospital after four days. He has since acquired a new nickname, “Miracle Dude,” something, he jokes, he could do without.
“I don’t really like the name,” Nicholas said. “I’m just another person that just got hit by a plane.”
Nicholas’ head was shaved during his treatment, so in a show of support, 12 of his friends shaved their heads as well.
“I was happy that they did it,” he said. “It doesn’t make me feel awkward, with my shaved head.”