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Thread: Hit and run

  1. #1
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Hit and run

    Just got out of the hospital. Two weeks ago I was on my way to work when I was nailed by a hit-and-run driver. I don?t remember it at all, actually lost the accident as well as about 2 miles leading up to it. It appears I was going about 45 when the other driver came over the crest of a hill, rear-ended me and punched the bike out from under me. He stopped, got out, looked around, saw my bike stuck under his truck then drove off and dragged the bike another 100 feet before it came free. Bike is totaled. Fortunately for me there was a certified first responder who saw the aftermath (me in the middle of the intersection) and did all the right things. I was taken to a hospital 5 miles away which has a level 1 trauma center. Turns out my gear did its job and protected me so I ?only? had bruises, a concussion, lacerated spleen, pneumothorax, 6 broken ribs, broken sternum, 4 cracked vertebrae, & 3 pelvic cracks. After 2 weeks I can breathe and cough without pain but I?m on a walker and will be off work for another month.

    There were no useful witnesses or evidence at the scene, and no one died, so the police have moved on. I?m not at all pleased about that but understand their position and have let it go. My uninsured motorist insurance will make me whole (hospital, bike, and lost wages) and I have to say I?m glad I didn?t go for the statutory minimum ($10,000) because the first day or two would have consumed it in medical expenses alone.

    Even though I?m ticked that the other driver won?t be brought to justice, the comment that upsets me most is the man who essentially said it was my fault for being on a motorcycle in the first place. Somehow in his mind the other driver had no role, even though I was hit from behind. I was too incredulous at his ignorance to say anything, but it?s got me stewing.

    I suppose there are a few things I could have done that might have made it more avoidable:
    • Reflective strips on the bike (in addition to those on my gear)
    • Brighter color (dark grey bike in light fog @ 5:30 AM)
    • More attention to my ?six? although I?m not sure in this situation I could have foreseen it even if ALL my attention was in my mirrors.
    • Other than that I?m at a loss.

    At this point I haven?t decided where riding fits in my future plans.

  2. #2
    John
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    Glad to hear your injuries were not too severe!!!!! lol

    Wow man, any one of those injuries could have led to your death? I would have to think that the healing process, physical and mental, has to start with "You are lucky to be alive!!!! Nothing else matters! The fact that it sounds like you can make a pretty full if not complete recovery physically, is gigantic. To ride again or not to ride again will come to you. Take your time, you will figure it out?

    For the idiot that indicated it was your fault for riding a motorcycle has obviously never experienced the feeling we all get from riding one. Remember, "You Can't Fix Stupid".

    Good luck to you in the many weeks ahead on your recovery.

    Sincerely,
    John

  3. #3
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    Glad to hear you're on the mend. It could have been a worse outcome, your brain could have been scrambled and you wouldn't be typing to let us know.

    I would keep after the police week after week, asking them if they have anything new in their investigation.
    If you keep getting the run-around, go speak to a level higher each time. Any leaving the scene with serious bodily injury is a felony in just about every jurisdiction. He'll, it's assault by auto.

    Don't beat yourself over not having reflectors, etc. if the driver was drunk, high, or texting, they would have probably hit a dump truck or semi if it was in front of them instead of you on your bike.

  4. #4
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    I am surprised the cops dropped it. I would think his truck has some damage, may be more than you think. May be the local news could do a report? Someone other than the driver knows about this. BTW, what state do you live?
    My Motorrad
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  5. #5
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Glad you're here to tell us the story. Don't become bitter about the felon that did this to you; just continue to be grateful to have come out as well as you did. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '95 R1100RS, '01 Super Sherpa
    There are two roads in life; the twisty one is vastly more fun.

  6. #6
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbrownell9 View Post
    I suppose there are a few things I could have done that might have made it more avoidable:
    • Reflective strips on the bike (in addition to those on my gear)
    • Brighter color (dark grey bike in light fog @ 5:30 AM)
    • More attention to my ?six? although I?m not sure in this situation I could have foreseen it even if ALL my attention was in my mirrors.
    • Other than that I?m at a loss.
    I was in a rear end accident on July first. I was riding my black Burgman Scooter with a black jacket and a black helmet. The impact was not severe but it totaled my ride and I was sore for a few days. My wife and daughter immediately jumped on me for not being more visible. To get them to shut up, I bought the brightest high visibility jacket I could find, got a white helmet and a white bike with TrailBlazer Deceleration Warning Lights, a white Top Case with LED Running and Brake Lights. The family is now more satisfied (since I won't stop riding) and I feel better. I still look behind more frequently now and I am still uneasy when something approaches me from the rear.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    I am surprised the cops dropped it. I would think his truck has some damage, may be more than you think. May be the local news could do a report? Someone other than the driver knows about this. BTW, what state do you live?
    Maybe it's a small town and the cops DO know who it is, and he's related or connected to somebody... Just sayin'......

  8. #8
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    Glad it wasn't worse for you. What a nasty thing! I can understand your anger with the hit and run driver. While it's not quite the same thing, I had a close call in my last car in early December 2011, when the lights changed to green, and just as I started going into an intersection, a semi blew through the intersection (on what was a red light for him), and kept right on going. I hit the brakes, but the pavement was wet due to the rain, and one of the semi's tires kissed my car's front bumper, causing some minor damage. It scared me silly to say the least! I shudder when I think about what would have happened if my car had traveled another foot or so.

    Get Well,
    Ellen

  9. #9
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I think I'd at least talk to a few private investigators and see if any would take it on for a percentage of the law suit settlement. I'd also contact my political representatives and ask their help in looking into why the police are not investigating. But, then I'm a very strong "J" in the Meyers Briggs personality profile.
    I'm an ISTP and I want to kick the person's ass.
    My Motorrad
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  10. #10
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Warren, Glad you are on the mend. And sad that the police aren't taking it further. Was it the county, state or New Castle doing the investigation? I think I would push them a little harder.

    As for the other idiot who made the comment, there are no words.

    The News Journal seems fond of stirring up controversy with any and all local agencies. Maybe you can use that to your advantage?

    Regardless, now that you just came back to motorcycling, I hope you aren't giving up so soon. If you're up to it, drive over to Crossroads for lunch with the MARs group on Saturday. 11:30am.

  11. #11
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Very glad that you'll be OK. Take your time, listen to your physical therapists, and all will be better.

    It sounds like you were hit pretty hard. Who's to say that all the brightly colored gear and lights in the world would've made a difference? You just don't know.

    For the record, I bought a new bright white Shoei helmet this summer. As I ride or drive, it seems the contrast of the white helmet does make riders a bit more visible. However, if someone is staring at a text message on a cell phone, even that won't make any difference.

    Good Luck to you and Get Well soon!
    -----------------------------------------
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  12. #12
    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    Sorry that the police have let you down. As investigator from the police contacted you?? When I was traffic crash investigatior I would call all my victim and have them an update on how well good/bad the investigation was going. Think some mentioned the media for source of getting out infomration etc...... I would like to know what evidence was left at scene by the other vehicle. Are there stores in the area of the crash to locate possible video evdience. Again I am so sorry that this happened and this would have handle as if someone had died. Leaving the scene of crash with serious bodliy injure is a major crime. Wish this was my case, something would be done...............
    John
    2004 BMW R1150R Black
    Contact me 4 (1&1) training, Expert witness in motorcycle crash reconstruction

  13. #13
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorman587 View Post
    Sorry that the police have let you down. As investigator from the police contacted you?? When I was traffic crash investigatior I would call all my victim and have them an update on how well good/bad the investigation was going. Think some mentioned the media for source of getting out infomration etc...... I would like to know what evidence was left at scene by the other vehicle. Are there stores in the area of the crash to locate possible video evdience. Again I am so sorry that this happened and this would have handle as if someone had died. Leaving the scene of crash with serious bodliy injure is a major crime. Wish this was my case, something would be done...............
    +1
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  14. #14
    Registered User Rod Sheridan's Avatar
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    I'm glad you were not too badly injured in your accident.

    11 years ago my bike was destroyed in a rear ender by a guy in an SUV on a cell phone.

    My suit, boots, gloves, and helmet all gave their lives to protect me, I only had some great bruises to show for it, and some chiropractic work.

    Hope that's the end of your collisions..................Rod.
    Work is the curse of the riding class

  15. #15
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the encouraging words. I visited the bike today to get the last of my personal stuff, and by the looks of it I was hit in a right-to-left direction, as if the other driver tried to avoid me and swerved to the left, only a few feet too late. Visited the scene too, and there's even less excuse for not seeing me - it's 1/4 mile of straight road 2-lane road, no curves, hills, merges, driveways, stores, or anything. Not sure even this kind of visibility aid would have helped:


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