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Tony Martinez beat the odds

After a 1986 crash, Tony Martinez was told he would never walk again, nor have children; 28 years la

Posted: June 15, 2014 9:36 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2014 9:36 p.m.

Tony Martinez holds a picture of his grandson Aires, one of four grandchildren, in his Santa Clarita home.

 

After emerging from a three-month coma in the fall of 1986, doctors told motorcycle crash victim Tony Martinez he would never have kids and never walk again.

Today, Anthony P. Martinez, now 44, is the proud grandfather of four kids, and proud to report he is able to walk over to them with the help of a cane. He still can’t pick them up, he said, but he can sure hug them.

“I wasn’t suppose to have any babies,” he told The Signal on Father’s Day at his home on Felbridge Street in Canyon Country. “They told me I was supposed to have no babies, and I was supposed to be paralyzed from the waist down.

“They said even if there was any ‘boom, boom’ I would still never have any kids. Then, boom, I had a daughter. And, then — boom, boom — I had another daughter.

“Now I have four grandkids,” Martinez said Sunday.

His youngest grandson is named Aires, but he calls him “Boo.”

“That’s my Boo,” he said, holding up an enlarged print version of a photo taken on the boy’s first birthday party. Boo is now 5.

“I hope I see him today,” Martinez said on Father’s Day, noting that a visit might prove difficult since his daughter works overnight at Walmart. “Without him, I don’t know how things would have been.”

The Signal reported Martinez’s life-threatening crash on July 13, 1986, identifying him then as ”a 16-year-old youth who was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital with a fractured ankle and possible head injuries.”

The crash that happened at 11:20 p.m. on July 11, 1986, changed his life forever.

Near dead

On that day, a Friday, the former Canyon High School student was partying with his friends near the Live Oak Campground, on Sand Canyon Road, he said.

“I was riding a yellow and black (Yamaha) RZ350,” he said. “The party was at the bottom of Sand Canyon.

“There were seven of us, racing, and we said ‘Let’s go to the top of the world,’” Martinez said, referring to a hill crest inside the Angeles National Forest.

“We made it all the way up there,” he said. “And there’s a place there where you can get a drink of water but we never stopped to get a drink of water.

“On our way down, I was racing and I popped a wheely and passed someone,” he said.

The crash, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies in 1986, occurred between Placerita Canyon Road and Bear Divide, just above the Live Oaks Campground.

The Signal reported that paramedics were delayed in getting to an “unconscious” Martinez when firetrucks were “blocked by the cars of hundreds of unruly teenagers.”

“I remember laying down my bike in a sparks,” Martinez said. “And, sliding in a rain rut into the mountain.”

 3-month coma

The next thing Martinez remembered, he said, was waking up at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, being told he was paralyzed and would never be able to have children.

On Sunday, Father’s Day, more than a quarter-century later, Martinez said he’s proud to be able to hold a photo of “Boo.”

The boy’s mother lives in Canyon Country, while her sister — Martinez’s other daughter — lives in Missouri with her three kids.

To this day, nurses who treat Martinez regularly, find documented references to his being reported dead.

“When I go for my epidurals, they say ‘Hey, man, you’re dead,’” at which point Martinez shows him his wide smile and entertains them with stories of his life’s experiences.

One of the stories he likes to tell, he said, is how he won a trophy in 2009 for bowling a “300 game,” years after doctors told him he would never walk.

 

 

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