SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It will be a long road to recovery for a nine-year-old boy who was hit by a garbage truck while riding his skateboard.

Luke Acuna had to have his leg amputated after the November 17 accident. His family is speaking publicly for the first time Wednesday.

Luke was hit by a trash truck in North Park, and for the first time his family wants to tell the public about their active nine-year-old who used to love to surf and play sports.

"You know, his loves were soccer and Frisbee golf and he has always had a very high spirit, and when Luke would go out to play he would always say 'Dad, I play like there is no tomorrow,'" father Anthony Acuna said.

Luke was on his way home from Garfield Elementary when he was hit. Crash investigators say he was riding a skateboard, not paying attention and looking back at his friends when he crossed the intersection at Meade and Kansas.

"Because it happened so fast, it was almost like a perfect storm," a police spokesperson said.

San Diego police say the boy was wearing a helmet, and the trash truck did not roll over his head.

"But actually the right front end caught him, and he rolled underneath and he was crushed as a result of the movement of the trash truck," the police spokesperson said.

Twenty-one days later, Luke remains in critical condition and in an induced coma.

"He has gone under multiple surgeries, including having his left leg amputated," Anthony Acuna said.

A lawyer hired by the Acuna family tells News 8 the trash truck may have been making a dangerous three-point turn too close to the school, and a lawsuit could follow.

Classmates who cross that intersection say it's a busy one, and students are told to pick up their skateboards and walk across it.

As for Luke's family, they want to thank the doctors and nurses who have placed him on the road to recovery.

"Someday we hope that he will be eager and someday we hope that Luke will be able to play like there is no tomorrow," Anthony Acuna said.

Luke Acuna Fund
Well's Fargo Bank: Account Number # 1994541090