Sunday, November 2, 2008

You Stinking Coward

One of my partners at the clinic was struck by a motorist and seriously injured last night while biking near his house. He was hit from behind by a vehicle at highway speeds on county road 133, which has a wide shoulder and good pavement. The vehicle had to have drifted most of the way onto the shoulder in order to hit him. It was 6pm, with good light and visibility, and my partner had front and rear lights, the bright red blinking kind.

It was a hit-and-run.

My friend was shot through the air still attached to his bike, rolled 2 or 3 times, and slid on the asphalt, finally rolling to a stop in the ditch. He had to crawl out of the ditch and flag down another motorist to get help. He suffered a rib fracture, a possible wrist bone fracture, and lots of road rash. He came close to requiring abdominal surgery. He is 50 but has the body of a 25 year old, and that had to help. His helmet almost certainly saved his life.

The rest of you can go back to reading your gmail or whatever now--I need to have a word with the motorist: you stinking coward, you selfish narcissistic piece of crap. Why didn't you stop? The impact broke your right side mirror into pieces, which the cops have scooped up. Every body shop, parts store, and salvage yard has a description of the make and model of your vehicle, and will turn you in as soon as you show up to buy a replacement. Every cop in the county is looking for your vehicle with a broken mirror, just waiting to slap your fat backside into jail--hit and run is a felony, baby.

Maybe you were drinking at 6pm on Halloween night. Maybe you were texting. Maybe you just finished lighting up a joint. Maybe you were arguing with your girlfriend or boyfriend or ex. Maybe you've had 3 DUIs and thought you were looking at doing time. Maybe your parents didn't raise you right, to admit your faults and take responsibility for your actions. Maybe you're just a lousy excuse for a human being because all you can think about is your own fear, even when another human being lies bleeding and battered in the ditch because of your actions.

Maybe you'll get away with it. OJ did, and he's spent the rest of his life paying for it privately, trying to forget or to medicate the pain or to cut his losses. C'mon, confession is good for the soul. Turn yourself in, take responsibility for your actions for once, and be a man. Or a woman. Thank your lucky stars you're not looking at hit-and-run manslaughter or worse.

I bet it won't happen, because you're a coward, and cowards are always losers. In that case, I hope you are caught, and rot in prison.

I'm glad I got that off my chest, but I'll never be able to stop looking over my shoulder, waiting for you to come up behind me and run me over too. Have a nice life, you stinking coward.


Jonathan said...

I hope your partner is okay and hopefully the guilty party will come forward or be brought forward forcibly!

I got hit during my first "Century Ride" two years ago by an impatient motorist who tried passing me at a corner, despite there being no rooom. They hit me from behind and knocked me into a stone fence, over which was a 75 foot drop. I bounced off, recovered enough to fall sideways away from the wall, but into traffic. Fortunately no one was coming from either direction or they'd be scraping me from the pavement. The coward that hit me didn't stop either, but I noticed they were in a black SAAB. The description didn't help the police...

I ended up finishing the ride, 125 miles a sore, but angry biker! I haven't been out to that area, since then, since I'm figuring I won't push my luck!

Dan S. said...

I'd bet the driver was on the phone. I was on a similar road with a wide shoulder (Hwy. 252) last year when a similar thing happened to me. I was to the far right on the shoulder when a van coming 60mph from behind brushed me with it's mirror. I was lucky and didn't fall (just had a scratch on my arm) but I caught up to the van at the next stop light. I banged on the passenger window and the woman just looked at me, ignored me and went back to her animated phone conversation.

Ian Stanford said...

Yep, I had a friend hit in Boulder a few years ago. The Colorado State Patrol handled it like pro's. They called everyone that anything to do with fixing broken windshields. Meanwhile, every cyclist in Boulder (and there are a lot of them) set out to find this car. Understanding that most accidents do indeed happen with 5 miles of home, I knew where to look. One day, biking past some homes I saw the front end of a vehicle matching the described color just sticking out from behind a house. I rode down their driveway, walked in back, and there was the broken passenger-side windshield. One call and the Boulder County Sheriff was there is seconds. Most likely, that car travels that path more than just the day of your friend's hit and run or they live in that area. Keep an eye out.

Anonymous said...

Whew! I'm glad that his helmet worked for him. I'd started to lose faith in mine after the 5 cyclists that have died down here in the cities over the last month after getting hit - all wearing helmets - only one at highway speeds - two at under 20 mph. Not to mention the Burnsville kid mtn biking in MT on a trail. Or superstar Gregg Bednorski riding into a parked car or .. how many should I list?

Doc said...

Ok, a helmet isn't a force field or a talisman, it's a shock absorber for your squash. I don't know the cause of death for any of the poor riders you list, so I don't know if they were crushed with internal injuries, broke their necks, bled to death or what.

But if you're arguing for not wearing a helmet at all because they didn't work for those poor souls, then I humbly dissent.

I don't see many cycling accidents in the E.R. or hospital (we're evidently reasonably able to stay upright most of the time), but I do see a lot of 4-wheeler and motorcycle accidents. Plenty of those do end up as organ donors, even some wearing helmets, but a remarkable number come out with amazing road rash, orthopedic injuries, and full senscience.

Everyone should always wear a helmet when biking no matter what. You can still find all kinds of ways to get yourself killed anyway, but it's just a little harder to do so if you have a piece of styrofoam tied to your skull.

Doc said...

Sorry, it's sentience.