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Man gored in the neck during Running of the Bulls details near-death experience

Jaime Alvarez was taking a video selfie during the event in Pamplona, Spain, when a bull's horn pierced his neck.
/ Source: TODAY

A California man spoke to TODAY about the terrifying moment when he went from taking a video selfie at this year's Running of the Bulls in Spain to nearly being killed by a bull's horn.

Jaime Alvarez, 46, was recording a video at the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona on July 5 when he ended up capturing the moment a rampaging bull gored him in the neck.

"I just felt the impact, it was like a car or a truck just hitting me,'' he said from his hospital bed on TODAY Tuesday. "But then I also felt the sting of something in my neck, and I realized what had happened, and I put my hand on my neck and it was covered in blood."

The public defender from Santa Clara thought he was out of harm's way when he decided to take the video inside an arena. Moments later, a bull crashed into him.

The bull's horn narrowly missed hitting Alvarez's jugular vein and other major blood vessels.

"The doctors told me that the horn went here and then up to my cheek, and there's a little crack at the bottom of my cheekbone from the horn going up, but they said if the horn had gone back I probably would be dead,'' he said.

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Alvarez wasn't the only American to go home from the event with an unwanted souvenir.

Aaron Froelicher, a 23-year-old from Kentucky, was gored in the left thigh and had to be hospitalized.

"He was right on me, real quick,'' Froelicher said on TODAY Tuesday. "He did scare me. That's the whole reason for the run, I guess."

Froelicher was at the event with his older brother, Andrew. Back home, their father, Duane, didn't have a whole lot of sympathy.

"I guess, you know, it's two knuckleheads,'' he said on TODAY. "That's all I gotta say that, you know, (they) decided to get on a plane and go to Spain."

Getting gored isn't enough to stop at least one of the men from wanting to run with the bulls again.

"Hopefully I'll be back next year doing it,'' Froelicher said.

"It was amazing,'' Alvarez said. "It was amazing and then horrible."