My friend Joe was in an accident on Saturday, he was hit by an 18-wheeler. I do not mean that he had a car accident. I mean Joe was riding his bicycle in the shoulder of a highway and a semi went into the shoulder and hit Joe. I’m not kidding.
Here’s the amazing part. Joe is fine. I do not mean that Joe is recovering in a hospital bed with an excellent prognosis. I mean that Joe walked out of the hospital on his own two legs just a few hours after the accident and reported to work on Monday morning. I’m not kidding.
I’ve spoken to Joe twice since the accident. He is lucid and can recount the story with as much detail as you care to hear. He gave me permission to post it here. Be warned that this story is inherently gruesome, but also incredibly inspiring. If you’re ready then click to read Joe’s version of the story.
Saturday morning I went out for a 30 mile bike ride. I was supposed to meet up with my team at 8:00 AM. I showed up to the meeting place and no one was there, probably because it was cold and windy and most were out of town for a race. So I said what the heck and took off on my own. It was an out and back ride, and as I was heading back home on Southwest Parkway near my turn on William Cannon (about 25 miles into the 30 mile ride) at about 9:15 AM, I got a flat rear tire. I stopped to change it, and was sitting on the guardrail on the eastbound side of Southwest Parkway, putting my new tube in my tire with my bike on the shoulder in front of me, when apparently an 18-wheeler that was driving in the shoulder lane hit me and my bike.
I say apparently because I have no recollection past the point where I was putting my new tube in my tire. All I remember when I regained consciousness was being flat on my back, lots of blood, seeing my bike (wrecked), paramedics and police. It didn’t register with me that I had been hit until I was in the ambulance, when the EMT (nice dude named Mark) told me that I had been hit by an 18-wheeler. That really didn’t compute since if I had been hit by an 18-wheeler I should be dead, right?
The ambulance took me into Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, where they rushed me in the ER. I had a skull fracture, was bleeding all over the palce, had a big nasty cut on the top of my head and one on my anke. They did a cat scan and x-rays and all that stuff and by the grace of God everything was fine. No surgery is needed, I feel fine and am able to function quite normally. If you saw me you wouldn’t think anything happened. I definitely know that I should have been killed out there on the side of the road, but God had other plans and decided to keep me around on this earth awhile longer.
Here are the pictures of it all, my bloody jersey and vest, the site of the accident, complete with my blood all over the road and my broken sunglasses, and the staples in the back of my head. As for the site of the accident, last thing I remember I was sitting on the guardrail. As you can see from the skidmarks, they start in the shoulder, so the truck driver was obviously driving in the shoulder for some reason (I don’t know any details yet of what the police think happened and what witnesses saw). Both APD and the Texas state trooper talked to me in the hospital and indicated to me that the fault is clearly with the truck driver. I have to say I knew I should have been killed after the accident happened, but then today I went and took the pictures of the accident site and I know that there is no reason why I should be alive and writing to you now. That is a lot of blood on the road… I don’t have pics of the bike since APD has it, but I hear it is toast. I should get it back sometime this week.
So anyway, I wanted everyone to know I am okay. Again, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in God – that he sent his son to this earth to die for our sins and that through his death and resurrection we too have eternal life and peace with God. God was there, and he protecteted me from death right then. Why me and not others I can’t explain. But don’t write this one off to luck. I am not writing you all this to show off or to brag about how lucky I am, I am writing this to let everyone know that I am alive because there is a God that loves each of us. Life doesn’t happen by chance.
So next time you see me I am gonna have a big smile, because I am happy to be alive and to see each of you again here on earth.
Love to you all –
Just one last thing – whenever you see a cyclist out there please remember that we are sons and daughters, wives and husbands, and that there are people that love us just as much as you love everyone in your life. Please give us plenty of room and be kind. www.bekindtocyclists.com
This story is incredible to me. There is no logical explanation for why Joe is still here. If you’re brave enough to see the pictures, you’ll notice that the driver didn’t hit the brakes until AFTER he hit Joe. It just doesn’t make sense that Joe is still with us. I assert that this is not luck, this is God.
Right now all news sources have a laserbeam focus on the Virginia Tech tragedy. I can’t help but smile, because my friend Joe is alive.