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1st hand account of latest cycling fatality.(34 posts)

1st hand account of latest cycling fatality.Pygme
Sep 2, 2003 7:03 PM
Brazoria Bicycle Accident - My Memories
The day before yesterday, Saturday, August 30, 2003, I was involved in a bicycling accident near Brazoria. I sustained a few scrapes and bruises, but all are minor physical injuries that will heal. Emotionally, I feel like someone tore my gut out. I have been riding with our local bike club for 19 years. I have seen some terrible accidents over that time, but never anything like this before. I have heard the accident scene described as grisly, unbelievable, an unspeakable tragedy, and a nightmare; however, words cannot truly depict the devastation and loss of life that my eyes witnessed.
The day started out like our typical Saturday mornings at the Lake Jackson Recreation Center. Twenty-one cyclists gathered and were chatting with each other in the parking lot. Kenny York introduced us to his girlfriend from Dallas, Amanda McDaniel. We left the parking lot at 7:30am with the sun shining down on us. Two doctors and a police officer were riding in our group. We were riding West on Highway 332. The road was dry until approaching the bridge that crosses the Brazos River into the town of Brazoria. There the road was wet from a small isolated shower that had passed through earlier, but the sun was still shining. Kenny and Amanda were laughing and talking in front of me as we rode under the bridge.
Within a second, the serenity of our Saturday morning ride was shattered. I heard a commotion at the front of our group and looked up to see a silver truck sliding sideways into our pace line. I tried to turn to the left to avoid the truck, but my tires slipped. I thought I was going to be hit by the truck as I fell down on my left side. As I slid down the pavement, another cyclist, Al Ochoa, ran into my leg and went down hard on the left of me. At the same time, I heard the dreadful noise of the truck spinning past my right side. Before I could stand up, I heard someone behind my left side calling 911. It was Billie Guidry telling them to send multiple ambulances. Andy Chang was directly behind me stopping traffic.
I looked around in total disbelief. The bicycles and riders that were in a neat pace line were now scattered on the road in front of me and in the ditch and field to my right. The truck came to rest behind my right side. I saw a huge dent in the side of the truck. There was someone lying between the truck and the bridge. It was Amanda. I didn't understand how she could be behind me. She was moving and someone was running up to her. I started looking at all the riders that were down. I noticed two riders just a few feet away to my immediate right. They were not moving. That's when I first started feeling something tearing at my gut.
As I stumble toward the rider nearest to me I felt a sense of panic because I had not seen my wife yet. I started shouting her name. Margie responded; she was safe on the left side of the road. I heard Lance Phy, the police officer riding with us, call for LifeFlight. I saw the doctors rushing to help. I knelt down next to the first motionless rider. I was shocked when I saw it was Jim Thomerson; he was gone. My mind did not want to believe what my eyes saw, but he was gone. A lady that stopped to help knelt down and began praying to God to save him, but he was gone. I looked over at the second motionless rider. It was Brian Delaney; he was gone. CPR, prayers, and tears could not revive them. Emergency Medical Technicians, followed by LifeFlight, arrived within minutes, but Jim and Brian were gone.
I just couldn't believe it. In the blink of an eye, two skilled riders; two good men; they were gone. It happened so fast, I wondered if they even knew what hit them. After tending to Kelton Thomson, Margie came over to me to and gently pulled me away from Jim so the EMTs and DPS Officers could do their job. I didn't want to leave Jim's side. I didn't want to accept that I couldn't do anything save him. The hard reality was no one could do anything to b
I'm so sorryKristin
Sep 2, 2003 7:23 PM
I wish I had words to say, but there is nothing... My heart aches reading your story. I'm so sorry for your pain. I'll pray tonight for you and your group.
I am truly sorry for your Club Riders and their Families. God Blstillridn
Sep 2, 2003 7:54 PM
My God man....Bill is in Denver
Sep 2, 2003 8:27 PM
I'm speechless.

Hold your wife. Count your blessings and be thankful for the time you were given with Jim and Brian.

A terrible try to keep your chin up.

I second that......CARBON110
Sep 3, 2003 7:23 AM
So so sorry. Its hard to account for everything at a time like this since there really isnt a good explanation. Allow yourself to heal and accept and try to keep your perspective. Its hard to articulate anything that can equal the loss and explain the emotion you and your friends and families must feel
Pygme, what a shocking loss.....rwbadley
Sep 2, 2003 8:38 PM
words are difficult to find.

I'm so sorry.

Wow. Hope you're doing OK. Hang tough. (nm)PseuZQ
Sep 2, 2003 8:56 PM
Here is the more of the story...sorry pygmecrankset
Sep 2, 2003 9:26 PM

Words can't start to describe things like these. Sorry you have to go through this pygme and especially all those involved and their families.
Here is the more of the story...sorry pygmespankdoggie
Sep 2, 2003 9:45 PM
Our prayers are with you and your friends-nmconfig
Sep 2, 2003 9:51 PM
re: 1st hand account of latest cycling fatality.cyclingforhealth
Sep 3, 2003 12:06 AM
I am so very sorry. My cousin was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 19 about 14 years ago. It leaves a hole in your soul. I am so sorry. That is very sad. Prayers.
You and the others are in my thoughts Pygme. nmMike P
Sep 3, 2003 4:00 AM
re: 1st hand account of latest cycling fatality.bsdc
Sep 3, 2003 4:14 AM
My heart goes out to you and everyone else so touched by this tragedy.
I'm truly sorry for the loss of your friends and the injuries tostratoshark
Sep 3, 2003 4:33 AM
others there.
very sorry to hear about thisSadlebred
Sep 3, 2003 4:34 AM
Pygme--I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your friends. I've the story several times on the net. It is always sad when a member of our community dies. I'll keep you and their families in my thoughts.
Prayers go out to you and their family's. Truly tragic. (nm)JL
Sep 3, 2003 5:11 AM
Prayers go out to you and their family's. Truly tragic. (nm)lithiapark
Sep 3, 2003 5:42 AM
A piece of my heart goes out to you and your group. I hope 10,000 of us can give our prayers to you all as you pass through this tragedy.
Truely sobering...Only the best wishes for you and the others nmbiknben
Sep 3, 2003 5:39 AM
Agreed. Profoundly so. nmsn69
Sep 3, 2003 6:54 AM
that's so sadDougSloan
Sep 3, 2003 5:49 AM
I can hardly bear to read this. To think that entire lives are taken and even more dramatically affected in moment of someone's inattention or stupidity. I don't think I'd ever be able to ride on the road again. It makes me sad and angry at the same time.

that's so sadorange_julius
Sep 3, 2003 5:52 AM
Glad to hear that you two are OK, and sorry about your
colleagues. Let's remember to be extra careful the
next time we're behind the wheel .... cars and trucks
make very dangerous things when driven carelessly.
Reading your account is like putting a stone on my chestMel Erickson
Sep 3, 2003 6:08 AM
I feel so sad for you, your wife, your friends and their families. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a very sobering reminder to all of us that life is fleeting.
Me too...merckx56
Sep 3, 2003 6:53 AM
I feel the exact same way! I didn't know whether to get pissed, cry or throw up!! Thinking about again 4 hours after I read it the first time makes me feel kinda sick.
My deepest sympathies on the loss of your friendsPaulCL
Sep 3, 2003 6:55 AM
Only time will heal your emotional wounds. Hang in there. Keep in touch with your lost friends' families. Keep in touch with us on the board too. Take care.

Be careful everyone.

My prayers join the others'.dzrider
Sep 3, 2003 7:40 AM
I don't know what to say, but can't say nothing. We all hurt when these things happen.
Thank you for sharing...loki_1
Sep 3, 2003 7:53 AM
it is not easy. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.
I'm sorry to hear this tragic news...gregg
Sep 3, 2003 8:18 AM
...I can only echo the sentiments shared by all here.

Sorry, Pygme, for this unfortunate loss.

Thank you for posting it, I'm sure it's difficult, but it serves as a solid reminder.

I, too, will say a prayer for those involved in this sad accident.

I agree with Doug, it makes me sad and angry. And we're just reading about it. I can't imagine the emotions that you and your wife are going through.

What's so scary is that no matter how safe a rider WE are, there are just too many idiots out there in cars. When do the odds just get too high, and I swear off riding on the road altogether? Every time I hit the pavement, my vulnerability on the bicycle is always foremost in my mind. Often times to the point where I just don't enjoy riding on the road anymore.
My condolences.Zonic Man
Sep 3, 2003 8:21 AM
All the best for you and yours.

That's a terrible tragedy.
I wasnt there, sorry if I implied that.Pygme
Sep 3, 2003 8:27 AM
I'm sorry if it seemed like I meant to say I was there. This is an e-mail circulating around south Texas cyclists. I just posted it on this site. Once again, sorry if i caused confusion.
No problem. Still deeply troubling. Thanks for sharing it.Kristin
Sep 3, 2003 8:46 AM
Question. You are a police officer, correct? That was something that was puzzling me as I read it--thinking you were the one there. I kept remembering you said you were a cop a long time ago.
Sep 3, 2003 8:47 AM
I think a lot of cyclists are in denial about the fact that we love a dangerous sport in a county where drivers suck and road/traffic conditions are pretty bad. I've posted before about why I don't do group rides anymore and this unfortunately is another example of why I don't--riding alone you are at least able to look around a bit before you start to cross a bridge like the one described--if conditions aren't optimal you can wait a bit for the traffic to clear up without the peer pressure top continue on. Group rides can take you on roads that you might not ride on otherwise if it was left to your judgement. This story is also an example of why I do not encourange friends, family member or other loved ones to get into cycling. I've been doing it for a long time but now I have a kid and sometimes question whether I should stick with this sport. At least with mountain biking if I crash and hurt myself I can only blame myself, not some moron in a pickup. As Doug said, angry and sad. I'm truly sorry you had to experience this and my thoughts go out to the family members of those who died.
re: 1st hand account of latest cycling fatality.koala
Sep 3, 2003 9:17 AM
Here is hoping you and your riding partners that survived heal in every way. We never know what tomorrow brings. Savor every moment.
re: 1st hand account of latest cycling fatality.CRM
Sep 3, 2003 9:41 AM
This is truly a tragic story and it is agonizing to read. It makes me question the sanity of our sport and whether it is worth the risk. However, it's important to remember that there is peril all around us, everywhere, all the time. It is an integral part of the world in which we live and the lives we unassumingly lead. We can no more quit cycling to avoid this kind of danger than we can lie awake at night in fear of contracting a fatal disease. We live with danger all the time, whether we feel the fear or not. The importance of this lesson is to take all reasonable safety precautions but at the same time to live your life as though it might end without a moment's notice.
My condolences. -nmcydswipe
Sep 3, 2003 4:56 PM