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Old 04-24-07, 01:33 PM   #1
Beverly
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Accident with emergency equipment on site

Last night was the regular 20 mile river trail ride. I normally ride in the slower group after Sunday's ride but the threat of an approaching thunderstorm had me leading the group as we were on the return portion of the ride. Five of us (one a newbie to the group) rounded a curve passing under a railroad trestle and there parked right in the middle of the trail was the biggest emergency squad vehicle I've ever seen That thing took up the entire trail. I immediately started shouting "Stop", applied my brakes and shot off the right side of the trail to avoid hitting it head-on. The second rider (the newbie) locked her brakes and skidded into the truck. The two riders behind her tangled trying to get off the trail and one of them went down in the dirt along the trail. The last rider was able to stop without incident but he did state later he was glad we had stopped for a restroom break before the accident.

Normally when emergency equipment enters the trail system they turn their lights on, beep their horn or turn their sirens on to warn people on the trails. This is a blind curve and we had slowed down and made sure we were on our side of the trail as we're aware that there might be walkers or other riders approaching us. Thankfully no one was seriously injured but the rider who went down had some nasty rash on his knee and a banged up finger. I bet he's sore today The driver rolled his window down and asked if we were okay. After telling him everyone seemed okay except for the downed rider he said okay and drove on. Now this really miffed us.....he could of at least offered us something to clean the wounds. He didn't have anyone in the ambulance so he wasn't on an emergency run. We reported the incident to the local police department just in case this guy was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be at that time. They offered to send someone out but we just wanted to get off the trail before it started raining and get something to eat.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:44 PM   #2
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This is interesting. The closest I've come to getting in an accident with a car in the past year was with an ambulance that pulled out of a parking structure...running the stop sign, and with no lights or sirens. Theye didn't appear to be in a hurry, and paid no attention to me as I skidded to a stop about 2 feet short of hitting them.

Glad no one was seriously hurt...
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Old 04-24-07, 02:07 PM   #3
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If the driver just drove off, that was technically a hit-and-run injury accident. It could mean jail time for the driver. The injured party can still file charges if he wants to - it was at least reported at the time.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:50 PM   #4
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In the UK- You can never find an ambulance when you need it. Looks like you found one and then needed it.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:54 PM   #5
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In the UK- You can never find an ambulance when you need it. Looks like you found one and then needed it.

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Old 04-24-07, 10:59 PM   #6
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Glad everyone's okay. Sometimes you can't be too careful.

Parenthetically, the ambulance driver not offering help is curious to me. On the century we did on Sunday we saw little in the way of police or sheriffs anywhere on the road, and certainly not in downtown Chico, an area notoriously congested & prone to cycling accidents. I'd have given my shoes for a cop to have shown up while we were down.

At the finish we asked to have the paramedic present to look us over, just in case. Seems he was out on the road, somewhere, available by radio, but not easily accessible. The folks in charge gave us directions to an ImmediaCare nearby, but we declined to go. We paid for support & I by-god wanted support. H*ll, they didn't even have a first aid kit! We made do with a Ziplock filled with ice. (Yes, we're composing a letter to let them know how less-than-stellar we found their support.)

I'd like to hear why your medic chose not to offer help. Whassup wit people these days?
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Old 04-24-07, 11:03 PM   #7
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A bicycle crashes into an improperly-parked ambulance and the EMTs/paramedics don't exit the vehicle to check on everyone? What is up with that?
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Old 04-25-07, 12:05 AM   #8
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Yes, there's something very suspicious about that driver.

I'm glad no one was seriously injured.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:44 AM   #9
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There's a right way for emergency squads to deal with accidents on hike bike paths. I frequently ride on the Galloway trail in Springfield MO. It follows Galloway Creek as it meanders through town and is a very nice trail and heavily used when the weather is nice. A couple of weeks ago there was an injury on the trail that apparently required an ambulance. The injury occurred on a curve on the north end of a pedestrian tunnel/stormwater conduit that runs under a major thoroughfare. It's a tricky spot as you can't see who might be ahead of you when entering or leaving the tunnel and it's on enough of a downgrade that it's easy to gain some speed coming into the tunnel. Some lane discipline there (they have the trial clearly marked with a yellow dividing line on the tunnel approaches and in the tunnel) is surely needed but not always observed. To our local guys credit, they had cones up at the entrance to the tunnel on the other end where they were working plus an officer warning everyone to slow down and be careful. When I rode through the bambulance was just pulling away and they were in cleanup mode. The paramedics were packing up to leave, the back board was still laying by the side of the trail. They washed down the bike path with bleach and soapy water to get the blood off and when I cam back through aboout 20 minutes later, a fire truck was there rolling up the hose after washing the bleach water off the trail. Still had somebody posted to let folks know to slow down.

Thank goodness they had somebody posted, where they were working could have caused a bunch more crashes.

I'm sorry your guy wasn't quite so professional in his approach, and I'm glad there weren't any serious injuries.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:04 AM   #10
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Most city vehicles have their doors welded shut and it usually takes a donut to get them open.

The Ohio Towpath frequently has a rescue squad on the trail-bends near the river, when each spring non-attentive cyclists ride into to chilly drink.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly
Last night was the regular 20 mile river trail ride. I normally ride in the slower group after Sunday's ride but the threat of an approaching thunderstorm had me leading the group as we were on the return portion of the ride. Five of us (one a newbie to the group) rounded a curve passing under a railroad trestle and there parked right in the middle of the trail was the biggest emergency squad vehicle I've ever seen That thing took up the entire trail. I immediately started shouting "Stop", applied my brakes and shot off the right side of the trail to avoid hitting it head-on. The second rider (the newbie) locked her brakes and skidded into the truck. The two riders behind her tangled trying to get off the trail and one of them went down in the dirt along the trail. The last rider was able to stop without incident but he did state later he was glad we had stopped for a restroom break before the accident.

Normally when emergency equipment enters the trail system they turn their lights on, beep their horn or turn their sirens on to warn people on the trails. This is a blind curve and we had slowed down and made sure we were on our side of the trail as we're aware that there might be walkers or other riders approaching us. Thankfully no one was seriously injured but the rider who went down had some nasty rash on his knee and a banged up finger. I bet he's sore today The driver rolled his window down and asked if we were okay. After telling him everyone seemed okay except for the downed rider he said okay and drove on. Now this really miffed us.....he could of at least offered us something to clean the wounds. He didn't have anyone in the ambulance so he wasn't on an emergency run. We reported the incident to the local police department just in case this guy was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be at that time. They offered to send someone out but we just wanted to get off the trail before it started raining and get something to eat.
It's too bad the cyclist got hurt, hope he's OK soon.

The driver of the ambulance was a jerk. He should have had his lights on. He should not have blocked the path if it was possible. Can't really tell if he had other places to park from the posting.

However, if the cyclists rode around a blind corner so fast that a non moving object was too hard to avoid,the cyclists are 100% at fault.

What if it was a log across the path? What if the injured cyclist was lying across the path with his bike blocking the whole thing? Sorry,100% your fault. We all do it from time to time, that includes me,and the best riders too.

We need to be careful. This is a good reminder for all cyclists. Glad it was not worse.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:27 AM   #12
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It's too bad the cyclist got hurt, hope he's OK soon.

The driver of the ambulance was a jerk. He should have had his lights on. He should not have blocked the path if it was possible. Can't really tell if he had other places to park from the posting.

However, if the cyclists rode around a blind corner so fast that a non moving object was too hard to avoid,the cyclists are 100% at fault.

What if it was a log across the path? What if the injured cyclist was lying across the path with his bike blocking the whole thing? Sorry,100% your fault. We all do it from time to time, that includes me,and the best riders too.

We need to be careful. This is a good reminder for all cyclists. Glad it was not worse.
I like the concept: What can WE CYCLIST DO BETTER.
There will always be jerks, obstructions, oil on the road, loose gravel, leaves, logs, dogs, kids, etc, etc.
Going FAST around a blind corner with a group of cyclists is not a good thing. Repeating that behaviour will produce more accidents and we rather not see that happen to anyone on this forum.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:17 AM   #13
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Consider this........

An injured cyclist is lying in the middle of the path right after a blind corner. The EMT may have to work on him while he is lying there. He may have to put a backboard on him. So the EMT parks the ambulance where it protects them both from cyclists blasting around the corner too fast. Just as he would with cars on a road. Sure enough cyclists do come around the corner too fast, but the ambulance would have protected the EMT and the patient. Smart EMT he did the right thing. Then the cyclists call the police and complain ? They think the EMT was an idiot and he caused a problem.

HUH ?

Yeah, he rolls down the window and thinks " idiots, you would have hit both of us" but asks if you are OK anyway. The driver and the police both are polite anyway, the cyclists were at fault and could have hit the EMT and a patient. How nice of them to be polite. If I were lying in the path I want the driver to park in the same place.

How about thanking the ambulance driver for responding to a call on the path, and doing the right thing for the patient. How about apologizing for hitting the ambulance and offering to fix any scrathes ?

Last edited by 2manybikes; 04-25-07 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 04-25-07, 11:02 AM   #14
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Consider this........

An injured cyclist is lying in the middle of the path right after a blind corner. The EMT may have to work on him while he is lying there. He may have to put a backboard on him. So the EMT parks the ambulance where it protects them both from cyclists blasting around the corner too fast. Just as he would with cars on a road. Sure enough cyclists do come around the corner too fast, but the ambulance would have protected the EMT and the patient. Smart EMT he did the right thing. Then the cyclists call the police and complain ? They think the EMT was an idiot and he caused a problem.

HUH ?

Yeah, he rolls down the window and thinks " idiots, you would have hit both of us" but asks if you are OK anyway. The driver and the police both are polite anyway, the cyclists were at fault and could have hit the EMT and a patient. How nice of them to be polite. If I were lying in the path I want the driver to park in the same place.

How about thanking the ambulance driver for responding to a call on the path, and doing the right thing for the patient. How about apologizing for hitting the ambulance and offering to fix any scrathes ?
In the scenario you describe, yes, the EMT would be wise to shield the victim from oncoming traffic using his vehicle.

However in Beverly's situation, I've inferred there was no prior accident and the EMT was just sitting there for some unkown reason, in which case he/she should have picked somewhere other than a blind corner to hide. I'm guessing the EMT was somewhere he/she should not have been and was trying to get away without any paperwork being generated.
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Old 04-25-07, 11:21 AM   #15
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In the scenario you describe, yes, the EMT would be wise to shield the victim from oncoming traffic using his vehicle.

However in Beverly's situation, I've inferred there was no prior accident and the EMT was just sitting there for some unkown reason, in which case he/she should have picked somewhere other than a blind corner to hide. I'm guessing the EMT was somewhere he/she should not have been and was trying to get away without any paperwork being generated.
That's exactly what we thought, Louis. That's why we called the police to report the incident. In fact the person answering the phone at the police station was a little surprised when we told them where the accident occurred. They asked twice if we were on the trail. The emergency vehicle was from that police department.

Since I'm a volunteer with the local bike trails I know from previous experience that any emergency equipment entering the trails turns their lights and siren on to warn trail users. All the emergency vehicles are manned with at least two people. They would also put down a flare or some other type of warning if they were in a blind spot. This person was alone, no lights or sirens and no emergency on the trail??? The only one who hit the truck was the new rider and it was just a bump as she skidded to a stop.
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Old 04-25-07, 11:26 AM   #16
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I'm guessing the EMT was somewhere he/she should not have been and was trying to get away without any paperwork being generated.
+1
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Old 04-25-07, 03:04 PM   #17
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He should have put down a flare or something on the other side of the blind corner, that would have been a big help. Having his lights on may have been a huge help too, they can reflect off other things you might see before the corner. Certainly the siren would help, but maybe he was there for a while already?
If nothing was going on he should have parked somewhere else, yes.

What you can control: How fast you go around blind corners.

What you can't control: What is around the blind corner.
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Old 04-25-07, 03:44 PM   #18
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It's too bad the cyclist got hurt, hope he's OK soon.

The driver of the ambulance was a jerk. He should have had his lights on. He should not have blocked the path if it was possible. Can't really tell if he had other places to park from the posting.

However, if the cyclists rode around a blind corner so fast that a non moving object was too hard to avoid,the cyclists are 100% at fault.

What if it was a log across the path? What if the injured cyclist was lying across the path with his bike blocking the whole thing? Sorry,100% your fault. We all do it from time to time, that includes me,and the best riders too.

We need to be careful. This is a good reminder for all cyclists. Glad it was not worse.
Are we talking about an MUP type of trail? If so you should not be on the trail/MUP running at Roadie speeds anyway. MUP's are very hazardous due to walkers, joggers, baby strollers, equine and everything else imaginable that can show up. If I'm riding below 15 MPH the MUP is fine, any type of riding above that needs to be done on the road.
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