Motorcycle vs. Road – Winner, the road
Motorcycle vs. Car – Winner the car
Motorcycle vs. Truck – Winner the truck
Motorcycle vs. Median – Winner the median
Consider this a Public Service Announcement
The kids and I were heading home from a fun day at the lake and just picked up Maxine from doggy day care. Floating on a noodle, in a lake, drinking Stella, remains one of my favorite ways to spend the day. It was a fabulous, fun-filled day! We were heading back to my brother’s house for dinner driving along Rt. 31 in Algonquin, IL talking about the great day. Sunburnt, but quite happy. As we were driving North, heading towards us, in the opposite lane was a motorcycle rider who was veering into the left hand turn lane. Patrick screamed, Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, as he was in the front seat and had a perfect view of the accident. The biker lost control, hit the median and flipped. Four times, the bike flipped and he was thrown from the bike. He lay alone next to the bike. On the pavement, he appeared dead.
Thankfully, there wasn’t too much traffic on the road, so I was able to quickly pull over. I called 911, described the accident, told the operator the man lay lifeless on the ground, described lthe ocation then told the kids and puppy to stay in the car and ran over to the accident. I grabbed a water bottle and beach towel and joined 3 others who also pulled over and were standing above the victim. There was complete silence.
The rider lay lifeless, yet upon closer inspection I saw very shallow bleeding. His back was slightly moving with each breath he took. There was also a large pool of blood next to his head, which was split open. An 8-inch split open wound down the back of his scull. His t-shirt was raised up his back showing skin filled road burn and his body lay atop a road filled with glass.
(This was not the actual accident, but it might as well have been ).
The man starting moaning and was clearly in pain and very uncomfortable. He kept trying to roll over, but wasn’t able to use his arms. After pleading with him to lay still and not move, we very carefully helped roll him over and put a rolled t-shirt under his head. He opened his eyes and kept staring at me. He couldn’t talk, but kept blinking his eyes. It was haunting. We let him know that help was on its way and we were going to stay with him till the paramedics arrived. I was his focal point. I, the woman, wearing a bathing suit, flip flops and cover up. With lake hair. I was his focal point. He kept staring and blinking. Haunting.
The police showed up first, then the fire truck and paramedics. They arrived within minutes. It felt much longer and much, much longer I’m certain for the poor victim. We all gave our statements and decided to leave the work to the professionals. I crossed back across the 4-lane road and got back in the car. Shaken, but able to drive. My teeth were chattering and it was very hard to talk. My hands wouldn’t stop shaking. My legs were totally weak. The kids, watching from the car were also shaken as they had a front seat to this horrific accident. For a family that spend the entire day on a boat and floating on noodles, we were totally pale. We decided to head home instead of going back to my brothers for dinner. Shaken, we decided to go to bed at 8:15. It was completely light outside, but we all needed to just go to bed.
This represents what the motorcycle rider was not wearing. He was not wearing a helmet. Nor was he wearing a leather jacket, which I’m aware they should wear to protect their skin, should they ever fall. A helmet to protect his head and a leather jacket to protect his skin. He wore neither and his head was cracked down the back of his skull and his body was afflicted with road rash. He lay like a rag doll on the pavement of the road.
I’m not sure what happened to the rider. We’ve combed the papers, internet, police blotters and twitter looking for information and have found nothing. I’m guessing (or hoping) this is a good sign, as if he had passed away, it probably would have made the papers. The best case scenario would be he’d spend some time in the hospital, given pain meds, stitched up his head, cleaned the wounds and released. The worst case scenario…well, we know what that is. I’d prefer not to think about that.
If you choose to ride a motorcycle, wear the appropriate gear. Most importantly, wear a helmet. I will never forget the look in the victims eyes. I will never forget the sound of Patrick’s voice, yelling, “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God”. I will never forget Meredith’s trembling voice asking about the rider. I will never forget the size of the pool of blood next to his head. I will never forget the fear we all felt, including the other good Samaritans who pulled over hoping and praying for the rider to ok. To be alive. I will never forget the absolute sick feeling I felt, for days, thinking about the poor motorcycle rider. I will never forget the look on his face, which I’m sure, showed complete uncertainty about his future. His life.
In a competition with a Motorcycle vs basically anything…the winner is Never the motorcycle. Never.
Life is short, wear a helmet, should you choose to drive or ride on a motorcycle.
Oh Terry that is an intense and sad story. Mike sold his Harley a few years ago, felt it was getting too dangerous with texting drivers not paying attention! After reading this story, that’s a big relief. Hug those sweet kids and say hi from me. XOXO
Less than a week ago, a 46 husband, father and step-father to 6 children, died in the wee hours of the morning while riding his Vespa. No other vehicles involved, the Vespa looked like it had been placed on the ground as opposed to hitting an object. With no witnesses, it appears he lost control, possibly on a curve and his head hit the curb. A helmet could have saved his life. I have no idea what helmet laws were repealed.
I hope the horror is eased from your minds soon.