Like many of us who grew up from midtown to uptown North Bergen, Justin Sanchez liked to pedal his bicycle full speed down some of the steepest hills on the Palisades.
The consequences were fatal Sunday night when 14-year-old Justin, due to enter high school this fall, fell and hit the pavement on 43rd Street, just down the block from Town Hall.
CVP SPECIAL : Click here to read Those who knew Justin recall ‘that bright, beautiful smile’ (With funeral information)
It was still light out, barely 8:45 p.m., when police found Justin — bleeding from the mouth, ears and nose — on the ground at the corner of Durham Avenue.
After being to Jersey City Medical Center, he was moved to University Hospital in Newark, where police said he fell into a coma from a swollen brain.
His mother, Veronica Sanchez, 30, reluctantly allowed him to be removed from life support Tuesday at midnight. His harvested organs were then made available for six people — an uplifting end to a tragic tale.
“I’m trying to hold on, be strong and get through this,” his mother told the Jersey Journal.
More than 500 friends have already flocked to a Facebook page in honor of Justin, who last month graduated from Lincoln Elementary School No. 5, a little more than a mile from where he died.
Meanwhile, Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack donated $1,000 to help defray funeral and burial costs (Justin lived with his grandmother on 46th Street but apparently grew up in Union City). Bayonne Medical Center this morning agreed to make up the $2,500 shortfall.
Rivera Funeral Home, at 4543 Kennedy Blvd. in North Bergen, is handling the arrangements. Their number:
Anyone who wants to donate to the burial costs can contact Veronica Sanchez at (201) 673-3512.
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