Justin Bonnett Making Progress After Surviving Massive Fireball Crash in Snowflake 100

Justin Bonnett running in Pro Late Model, numbered 12 in honor of his late grandfather, Neil Bonnett. (Ben Kilcrease/PixelatedSPEED)

PENSACOLA, Florida (December 8, 2019) — The long road to recovery has begun for Justin Bonnett, the Pro Late Model driver from Alabama who is the grandson of the late Neil Bonnett. Bonnett was involved in a crash during the 21st Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday night that was spectacular for all the wrong reasons.

Bonnett was hit by Jarrett Parker on lap 24 after Parker lost the brakes in his car. The hit was so violent that the fuel cell was ripped out of Parker’s car, and burst into flames. The flames spread down the racing surface reaching to and in Bonnett’s car.

Bonnett was trapped in his racecar for about a minute as track officials rushed to rescue the driver.

Bonnett was rushed to a local hospital before being transferred to the University of South Alabama Trauma Center.

He suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula plus significant burns to his hands, neck and face.

Eddie Dodd, from the No Limits Racing Show posted a further update on Sunday evening that Bonnett’s condition, while still serious, is improving.

Jessica Knowles, Bonnett’s sister, provided PixelatedSPEED with details summarizing her brother’s progress thus far. 

“This morning around 7:30 AM, they went in to operate on his compound fracture in the leg. The leg was too swollen to operate on, so they cleaned it out well to prevent any infection and made sure there was no damaged tissue. The muscle in the leg still looked good. They inserted a drain to reduce swelling. (They) Will try again Wednesday to operate and put in a rod in his leg.” 

“He also came off of the breathing machine today and is breathing well on his own. They were concerned about him breathing fire in his lungs, but lung x-rays came back clear as did brain.” 

“They also came and cleaned up all of his burns. The worst burns are on his lips, chin, neck, left arm, and knuckles. They are mostly all 2nd degree burns and should heal on their own.”

PixelatedSPEED will continue to provide updates on Justin Bonnett’s recovery progress as they become available.

– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

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PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been going "Beyond the Headline" since 2018”.