A San Diego amateur Motocross racer has died after he was critically injured in a race over the holiday weekend.
Jantz Grodzicki, 16, suffered a brain cell and spinal cord injury when he crashed while competing in the 41st Annual Thor Winter Olympics on Friday.
After conflicting updates over the weekend, the teenager's family updated friends and fans that Grodzicki died from his injuries Monday morning in a Florida hospital.
The Scripps Ranch teen was a well-known figure in the local racing community and a regular at the Pala Raceway.
Hunter Weiss has known Jantz for the past 6 months as the two teenagers worked on a video of the up-and-coming racer in action.
“Jantz put 24/7 in this sport. He was riding 4 or 5 times a week, racing every weekend,” Weiss said.
“He committed his life to Motocross.”
Grodzicki had been racing since he was seven years old when he finished second at the 2004 San Diego Supercross-KTM Challenge ESPN reported.
He was the kind of person who always had a smile on his face and had action around him. A fill-the-room kind of guy one parent remembers.
Grodzicki, known to fans as JG96, was put on life support after doctors told his father Chris Grodzicki there was "zero hope" in the hours after the crash.
Then, friends and family received a much different update just a few hours later.
“A short while ago we received a call from the doctor that a miracle took place this morning at 6:30am that Jantz's "condition has changed significantly" he is responding to eye commands, left to right, up and down and raise your eyebrows,” his father wrote Saturday morning. “Given what we were told this is truely [sic] a miracle.”
His aunt, Michelle Adams Feddock, posted this update, "We are praying for a miracle- stay positive and strong. We aren't giving up hope. Jantz is a fighter."
Then, a few hours later, the family was told the difficult news, that the reflect seen in Jantz' eyes was not a sign of recovery. They released an update:
“Unfortunately Jantz’ injuries are too severe to survive. He suffered a severed spinal cord at the base of his skull and it is improbable that he can recover. The body can not survive with this damage. The family will take him off life support in the next day or so. Godspeed #96!”
The family set up a special Facebook page to update friends and fans on Grodzicki’s condition.
Just before 10 a.m. PT, Grodzicki's mother Lisa posted that her son had passed away.
"Jantz will be forever remembered as a fierce Motocross competitor and for the warmth, kindness and amazing sense of humor he shared with everyone," she posted.
Parents Chris and Lisa and Jantz' 12-year-old sister Jenna Reece were with him when he passed along with other family and friends.
Weiss will remember his friend as the kid who could make anyone laugh and used ketchup on everything - even salad.
“Jantz is going to be missed by hundreds, just thousands of people in the racing community,” Weiss said.
“Everybody knows Jantz.”