Hot Poppin' Culture News From New York City

Bono’s Serious Injuries Due to Riding Without Helmet in NYC Bike Crash

Irish rocker Bono, frontman for the band U2, suffered extensive injuries in a NYC bike crash in part because he wasn't wearing a helmet.  (Photo: Getty)

Irish rocker Bono, frontman for the band U2, suffered extensive injuries in a NYC bike crash in part because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. (Photo: Getty)

U2 frontman Bono suffered far more serious injuries in his “bike spill” in New York City’s Central Park largely because he was riding without a helmet, according to a source familiar with the accident.

One of his most serious injuries, a skull fracture, according to attending doctors, is consistent with riding without a helmet.

While New York City’s “front lawn” conjures bucolic images of genteel strollers and tourists on Citi bikes, it’s really a dangerous and congested mix of joggers, speeding cyclists, scooter and skateboard riders and self-entitled strollers.

Bono’s accident sounds typical for the park, according to the latest reports. He was riding his bike, swerved to avoid another rider and was thrown from his bike in a “high energy” accident, according to doctors.


Dr. Dean Lorich Statement on Bono’s injuries

lorch-hedOn November 16th, Bono was involved in a high energy bicycle accident when he attempted to avoid another rider. Presented as a Trauma Alert to New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell’s Emergency Department, his Trauma Work-up at that time included multiple X-rays and CAT scans showed injuries that include:

1. Left facial fracture involving the orbit of his eye.

2. Left scapula (shoulder blade) fracture in three separate pieces.

3. Left compound distal humerus fracture where the bone of his humerus was driven though his skin and the bone was in six different pieces.He was taken emergently to the operating room for a five-hour surgery Sunday evening where the elbow was washed out and debrided, a nerve trapped in the break was moved and the bone was repaired with three metal plates and 18 screws.

4. One day later, he had surgery to his left hand to repair a fracture of his 5th metacarpal.

He will require intensive and progressive therapy, however a full recovery is expected.

Source: Dean Lorich, MD, Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon


Judging from his injuries Bono was likely thrown forward and rolled, landing on his arm, shoulder and finally his head. The weight of a head and centrifugal force almost always cause cyclists to land head down, which is why wearing a helmet is important.

Bono was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell Medical Center. After “multiple X-rays and CAT scans,” doctors operated on him for five hours, according to Dr. Dean Lorich, and Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon.

The singer was diagnosed with a “facial fracture involving the orbit of his eye,” three separate fractures of his left shoulder blade and a fracture of his left humerus bone in his upper arm. His arm bone broke in six different places and ripped through his skin.

In New York state helmets are only required for children under the age of 14-years-old and all commercial cyclists such as bike messengers.

Two years ago, City Council Democrats pushed a bill to make bike helmets mandatory for everyone, but then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposed the measure and it never passed. Bikers would have been fined for riding without one.

Right now, 22 states have state-wide bike helmet laws and 200 localities have local ordinances, according to helmets.org, which advocates helmet use. The overwhelming majority, however, only require helmet use for riders under the age of 18.

Each year, about 54 New York State residents are killed in bicycle crashes and 2,000 residents are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, about 38 percent involve a brain injury, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Head injuries are the leading cause of death and permanent disability in bicycle crashes and account for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths, according to department statistics.

Bono will “require intensive and progressive therapy,” but “a full recovery is expected,” according to Lorich.

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