|Houston Newpaper Columnist Hit by Truck while riding Bike!||MXL02|
Oct 14, 2003 4:33 AM
|Houston Newspaper columnist, Ken Hoffman, an avid supporter of cycling and the MS 150 charity ride, was struck by a hit and run truck:
Oct. 13, 2003, 6:56PM
Truck makes bad impression
By KEN HOFFMAN
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
SATURDAY morning I rode my bicycle in a fund-raiser for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Montgomery County.
Saturday afternoon, I was pedaling around my neighborhood and got hit, dead on, by a truck doing about 40 mph. I don't know if the driver was drunk. He didn't stick around to take a Breathalyzer. He floored the gas pedal and took off.
It seemed like it happened in slow motion. From behind, I heard somebody gunning the engine of a car or truck or whatever. I turned my head and saw a truck barreling up the street.
The truck kept going faster and coming straight at me. I looked at the driver's face and could tell he didn't see me. The truck hit me and I flew off the bicycle. It was the loudest sound I ever heard. It was the scaredest I've ever been.
Later the police told me that I landed 25 feet from where I was hit.
I smacked the pavement and rolled a couple of times. I never lost consciousness. When I came to a stop, I screamed, "Get that truck!"
I saw the truck race to the corner and turn with its tires screeching. I saw someone get in a car to try to follow him, but it was too late.
A fire department ambulance was there in about two minutes. "I'm a paramedic," the first firefighter said. "Do not move."
So I lay there, my cheek on the pavement, for about 25 minutes. Police shut down the street. Neighbors came out of their houses. I heard one guy say, "I heard the engine roar and then a loud crash. I thought two cars had collided."
The second car was me on my bicycle.
I am very lucky. A firefighter said when you're hit on a bicycle, you either fly up or down. If you fly down, you can die.
I flew up. I actually remember traveling through the air and hitting the street. I landed on my side. I wasn't wearing a helmet.
The paramedic said, "Be as still as you can. I'm going to feel for broken bones" and he started poking and pushing on me from head to foot.
I told him, "The last time somebody worked on me like this, I had to leave a tip."
It was weird to be face down on the street. I would have told you, I'm one of those people who rarely gets sick. I don't take medicine. I've never been in an ambulance. I've never been a patient in a hospital.
As they strapped me to a gurney and loaded me in an ambulance for St. Luke's ...
I saw my bicycle on the side of the road. It looked like a piece of modern art. The back wheel was mangled and crumpled. The frame was broken. The seat was sideways.
I have long argued for speed humps on residential streets. I didn't plan to become one.
I knew my left leg was injured but I was afraid to look at it. Dr. Eric Orzeck, physician to the stars in Houston, said I have a big ugly "road rash" on my left leg and there's a chunk missing from my left ankle. The ankle thing worries him.
Mostly I'm bruised and battered. The doctor said I will be sore for a few days and slowly start to feel better.
But I can't play tennis or ride my bike for at least a month. That really hurts.
Parents in my neighborhood are constantly getting on me because I don't wear a helmet. Here's the deal: If they don't say "we told you so," I promise to wear a helmet from now on. I mean it, too.
My body is so sore now, you can't believe. Everything on me hurts.
It hurts to eat. It hurts to take a deep breath. If I'm sitting down, it hurts to stand up. If I'm standing up, I stay up.
It even hurts to sleep. My bed is too high to crawl into. So I took my old Creedence Cl
|end of story.||MXL02|
Oct 14, 2003 4:34 AM
|It even hurts to sleep. My bed is too high to crawl into. So I took my old Creedence Clearwater Revival and Rolling Stones albums and made a step next to the bed.
They sure don't make music like they used to -- stackable.
|bummer for Ken||Tig|
Oct 14, 2003 5:15 AM
|He can still find a little humor, even while he was on the ground with paramedic prodding him. He's luckier than he knows. Surviving without a helmet or even a fracture takes plenty of luck when a speeding truck enters the picture. Either your head hits the vehicle or the ground, but usually the latter.
Perhaps Walton and Johnson need to find out what it feels like to be on the bumper end instead of a humorous columnist who rides benefit rides.