THE ACCIDENT. Part 1.
Sunday, September 3, 2006, 9:35 a.m. That's when it happened, according to the accident report.
I had wanted to do a couple more training rides on the bike course for my next tri that was to be on my birthday, Sept. 9. I was going to be going alone since others were tapering either for Ironman WI or the 1/2 in Racine the day before. I wanted to get one training ride in on Sunday, then go and do my mile or longer swim. Then another ride Monday with a run off on the hardest part of the course.
I planned my Sunday bike time to avoid the churchgoers on the course and the sun in the eyes which you get if you leave before 9 am. I left approximately 9:08. I reached the halfway point at 9:28, and was pleasantly surprised at how much better this ride was going than I had expected. I came to the light at the turnaround and, to be safe, waited for the light to change so I had the entire light to turn on and go through the wide intersection. Not much traffic in any direction, and nothing coming close, as far as I could see.
I made the turn, crossed the intersection, and within moments it was as if I was in a dream. There was this explosion in my head and the next thing I remembered was seeing my bike away from me, my left shoe still clipped into the pedal.
The next thing I remember was being treated at the scene by paramedics. I heard a woman clearly say "I didn't see her because the sun was in my eyes." And "I was going between 40 and 50 miles per hour."
Those four things I remember clearly. The rest was a blur until I arrived at the emergency room of a local hospital. No, I do remember them putting me in the ambulance and how painful that was. They might as well have thrown me down a flight of steps it was so bumpy and painful. I vaguely remember making some phone calls and then the rest was at the hospital. I know I called Don but barely remember. I remember talking to my daughter who called while I was in emergency, as I heard my phone ring over and over but no one answered it. Finally someone did and said it was her. Before I knew it, many members of my family had gathered at my bedside waiting for the prognosis.
That's all I can write for now as it is painful to sit and type. More later.