Taos man severely injured cliff jumping in Abiquiu Lake

New Mexico

ABIQUIU LAKE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Taos man was severely injured after cliff jumping in Abiquiu Lake. Strangers helped save his life but now, his family said they’re facing another battle.

“I didn’t think anything of it, that the water was that shallow at those places anymore,” said Leon Lucero on the phone. In July, Lucero and his son went to Abiquiu Lake to cliff jump at their normal spot.

“I just remember jumping and then I just felt a real sharp pain over my whole body,” said Lucero. “I started sucking in water because I couldn’t swim, my legs, my legs wouldn’t move.” Lucero’s son raced down the cliff to help his dad.

“I looked down at my ankle, my bone on my ankle was completely showing,” said Lucero. “My foot was just hanging to the side.” Unable to get him out of the water, Lucero’s son yelled for help but he thought that no one was around.

“We just heard a really loud scream just ‘help, help, help,'” said Jeremy Padilla. He and his family were boating close by. “We saw his son trying to get him out and asked if we could help so I just jumped out and we got him to the shore and just tried to stabilize him,” said Padilla.

Padilla’s family called for help and Lucero was flown to UNMH. He’s had eight surgeries and is suffering from a broken back and ankle as well as a serious infection. “If the infection doesn’t go away, that’s when we’ll talk about amputation and other forms,” said Lucero.

Although Lucero has a long battle ahead, his family is grateful to the Padilla family. “It’s rare to see boats in that area and I’m honestly really glad they were there,” said Lucero’s daughter, Miranda.

“They were a God’s blessing when they came around to help,” said Lucero. He said he’s had some feeling return to his legs but it’s too early to say if the accident left him paralyzed.

The Lucero family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the medical bills. They’ve already got the bill for that medi-flight, which they said will cost them $53,000 alone.

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