Buffalo police officer Jonathan Negron spent more than a week in a medically induced coma last month after suffering severe head trauma during a vehicle pursuit. Friday, he was released from the hospital.

Negron, 29, is a two-year member of the force. He was responding to a call of a vehicle with four people inside who had a gun on June 3 when the vehicle fled and a chase began. The car Negron was chasing eventually struck a light pole, which fell and crashed through Negron’s car, striking him in the head, WIVB reports.

On June 13, Negron came out of the coma and was reported to be alert, breathing on his own and able to talk with a low voice. He was “even cracking a couple of jokes,” the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association said.

Friday, more than a month since the accident, Negron was able to walk out of the hospital. A contingent of family, friends and fellow officers gathered at ECMC to applaud his recovery.

The driver of the car that hit the light pole was a 16-year-old from Rochester, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said last month, and the car was believed to be stolen.

The driver was charged with Assault on a Peace Officer, Police Officer, Firefighter or Emergency Medical Services Professional, which is a Class C violent felony, and Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree, which is a Class D felony. The charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison.

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