SAN DIEGO - 10News on Monday spoke with family friends of a young Scripps Ranch dirt bike racer who died during a race in Florida.
Jantz Grodzicki, 16, was taking part in a race near Gainesville, Fla. on Friday when he went over a jump and lost control.
According to ESPN, Grodzicki's legs became entangled in his handlebars when he tried to bail out. He landed hard on the ground, suffering severe traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Grodzicki was rushed to a Florida hospital, where he had been on life support since the accident.
On Monday, with his immediate family and friends by his side, the Scripps Ranch teenager died after being taken off life-saving devices.
More than 350 people showed up in Scripps Ranch on Saturday night at Community Park for a prayer vigil. This included members of the Mouradian family, who has known Grodzicki since he was a young boy.
"He could take jumps like 20 yards long. We were like, 'Whoa,'" said Austin Mouradian, a friend of Grodzicki's since childhood. "It was unbelievable back then….I still can't believe how good he got."
Blake Mouradian, Austin's twin brother, told 10News, "When I heard the news first, I couldn't believe it. I thought people were overhyping because he's gotten hurt before."
Even the twins' father was shocked by Grodzicki's death.
"I expect to see Jantz sometime in the future," said Don Mouradian. "I just can't believe it."
Friends on Grodzicki's Facebook tribute page left artwork memorializing the teenager. The pictures included Grodzicki wearing his racing number – 96 – with wings on his back. Another said "ride in paradise" and another showed the number 96 with the words "Rest in Peace."
No plans have been announced for his funeral.