Gilroy Teen Recovering From Spinal

Mario Bonfante, Jr. had aspirations of becoming professional
motorcycle racer
Gilroy – Mario Bonfante, Jr. hasn’t spent one post-injury moment in his hospital bed alone. Since the Friday evening bike accident, his close-knit family has made sure someone is constantly sitting bedside.

“It’s been ’round-the-clock family members,” said Tami Bonfante, Mario’s aunt.

The 17-year-old Gilroy resident and a friend were riding their BMX bikes through a dirt bike course in Christmas Hill Park Friday, failed to clear a bump, flew over the handlebars and broke his neck.

Mario Bonfante was airlifted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and has undergone two successful surgeries to reinforce the area of his neck that was shattered in the fall.

He’s experiencing some sensation and has minimal movement in his arms and wrists, according to the family. He will begin a rehabilitation program this week.

That was the information doctors gave family members Wednesday.

“That is all we know right now,” Tami Bonfante said.

While the accident occurred on Gilroy property, a city official said it doesn’t appear that the city can be held responsible since the teen was riding across homemade jumps.

“If it’s unsanctioned by the city you accept your own responsibility for your actions,” said Jay Baksa, city administrator.

Erroneous information about the accident and her nephew’s condition have been plastered across since the accident. That’s why the family of the avid dirt bike rider wants to set the record straight and make sure the community knows what’s really happening.

Mario Bonfante is awake and alert and the family wants to make sure everyone remains positive. The Christian family is spending their time praying for the teen’s recovery.

Although Mario Bonfante, who is completing high school through independent study, was riding a dirt bike at the time of the accident, his passion is racing motorcycles competitively and he was in the process of getting sponsors for the sport.

“That’s why this is ironic,” Tami Bonfante said. “Here he is out there with his friend and he ends up getting injured.”

While he wasn’t wearing a helmet, doctors told the family that head protection would not have prevented the injuries he suffered. The family has received an outpouring of love and support since the accident and wants to thank everyone for their kind words and prayers.

“We’ve been inundated with people calling,” Tami Bonfante said. “The community has been phenomenal.”

Since so many individuals have asked how they can help, the Bonfante family has set up a trust account at Washington Mutual. Checks should be made out to Mario Bonfante, Jr. Account #3134238761

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