Bono: Serious Injuries In Violent Bike Accident Worse Than Reported — May Have Had No Helmet

Jonathan Vankin

Bono suffered injuries more serious than originally reported when he crashed his bicycle in New York's Central Park on Sunday — and the extent of those injuries suggest the 54-year-old U2 singer may have been riding without a bicycle safety helmet.

The Dublin, Ireland-born rock star and humanitarian, whose real name is Paul Hewson, needed five hours of surgery at New York's Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center hospital on Sunday as doctors worked to repair multiple fractures. Then on Monday, Bono had a second round of surgery for injuries to his left hand.

The impact of his landing fractured bones in the left side of his face, including the orbital bone in his eye socket. Though full details of the accident have not been confirmed, the serious nature of the U2 frontman's facial fractures would seem to suggest that he was not wearing a protective helmet that could have shielded his head from direct impact with the ground.

Statistics show that Bono, despite his serious injuries, is lucky to be alive this week, much less to make the full recovery predicted by doctors. On average, 54 bicycle riders are killed every year in New York State, and another 2,000, like Bono, are sent to the hospital — about 850 of those with brain injuries.

• Three separate fractures to his left shoulder blade.

• A shattered left humerus bone — the bone between the elbow and shoulder — smashed into six pieces with the bone tearing through his skin.

• A broken fifth metacarpal bone — that's his pinky finger — on his left hand.

According to doctors, the serious injuries to Bono's left arm had to be fixed by inserting three metal plates into the U2 singer, as well as 18 metal screws to hold his bones together.

Bono had returned to the United States only the previous day, after taking part in the recording of a new version of the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?," 30 years after the original version — on which a then 24-year-old Bono also sang.