The road to recovery

Tracy resident Chris Bornitz knows he is lucky to be alive following his summer accident on his Harley. Both were pretty beat up, but Bornitz is close to a full recovery and is eager to fix up his bike and get back on the road. Photo / Per Peterson

Chris Bornitz wasn’t planning on hitting the highway on his Harley on the night of July 29. He also didn’t plan on hitting the ditch after a deer ran out in front of him.

That deer, of course, forced Bornitz to swerve and lay down his bike on a highway between Storden and Walnut Grove; once he entered the ditch, he went through the handle bars and his right knee hit the gas tank.

“We’re guessing my foot drug underneath, because I laid it down on the right side — my foot drug backwards and tore everything … I had Dudes on, I wasn’t even planning on riding that day, it was just random,” he said. “Once I hit the grass, the bike momentum slowed down — I had an imprint of the headlight on my side.”

Bornitz laid, out cold, in a dark ditch near a corn field for over an hour before he was discovered by some kids driving by.

“The only reason they saw me was because I have under-glow lights on my bike, and they were on,” he said. “I remember the crash, I remember laying the bike down, but that’s all.”

Bornitz was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. He said he’s not against helmets as a practice and was told the fact that he wasn’t wearing one probably saved his life.

“A week later, I asked my ER doctor if I had a helmet on, would it have helped? He goes,’ ‘You would’ve been dead,’” Bornitz said. “The weight — how severe my C1 fracture was — it would’ve snapped my neck.”