AMTRAK INJURY VIC SPEAKS OUT

(Aaron picture left, family photo)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -  A Portland State University student is now out of a coma, and talking for the first time, months after he was found badly hurt near train tracks in northern California.

Amtrak officials said there was no evidence of a crime and claimed 22-year-old Aaron Salazar may have tried to take his own life.

But Salazar said that was not the case.

“I wanted to thank everybody for the love and support and the prayers and the letters. I want you all to know I did not jump off the train. I never ever tried to kill myself,” Aaron said.

Salazar was found in May in Truckee, California with a broken pelvis, burns to his lower body and an injured brain stem.

He had been on his way back to Portland from Colorado.

The last text message he sent to his grandmother said he had a layover between trains and he was going to get food with a new friend.

But Salazar never made it onto his next train.

Salazar's family believe that friend may have attacked him as part of a hate crime because Salazar is gay.

Salazar's family previously said Amtrak’s investigators never directly examined his body and also hadn't interviewed any members of their family.

Amtrak released a statement Friday saying quote:

"We are glad Aaron is improving and look forward to talking with him and any other witnesses as part of the investigation."

Salazar's family said he doesn't remember anything from that day.

In the meantime, he continues to recover in Denver, Colorado.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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