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Old 08-06-07, 07:23 AM   #1
BSLeVan
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UPDATE: Son hit by pick-up truck

First let me thank all of you who lent your kind words and support. It was very helpful, especially in the day that followed the accident. As mentioned in the OP, the good news is that he is not seriously injured. He suffered, as one might imagine, major bruises to shoulder, ribs, hip, leg and ankle, all on the left side. His "road rash" is primarily on his shoulder and hip, but he did lose a good bit of flesh. All in all he got off very lucky with this one. His bike frame, a Giant ORC1, is completely destroyed. Amazing to me, however, is that all of the parts are OK. The frame was pretty much folded where the impact occurred, but other than scratches the rest of the stuff could be shifted to another frame.

Now the frustrating part. It appears he was riding a new road for the first time, came upon an intersection and blew through a stop sign that he didn't see. Being highly skeptical about his not seeing it, I went to the scene of the accident, and unless you were a regular user of this road, there's a more than reasonable chance you wouldn't see the stop sign either. It was covered by overgrown branches from trees and bushes. You had to be almost parallel to it to know it was there. My sense was that unless you were walking, you'd be moving too fast to see the sign until it was too late. This was confirmed by two neighbors we spoke with who said that there were quite a few accidents at this intersection. Additionally, I checked the path the pick-up truck had to be traveling and found that the truck had to come up a slight rise and curve, making the intersection almost invisible until about 30 years away from it. This is likely why the truck was not moving more than 25 or 35 MPH. So, given these facts it's pretty hard for me to be too upset with the driver of the pick-up truck. Come to think of it, the accident pretty much must have ruined his day too.

Once again, thanks for all of the words of support. It's one of the things I like about the 50+ group.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:27 AM   #2
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Is sounds like it was truly a accident and no one was really at fault. It is good your son is Ok. Just a suggestion, I would go out and take a picture of the intersection from your son's view point and save it. Who knows what might happen and this would be good evidence in case the city cuts the trees and bushes in the future. They may also have some liability if the sign is obscured, which you might decide to pursue. It is much better to have evidence that you don't use than to not have it if you need it.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:31 AM   #3
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Good to hear he's on the mend. Just remember, from personal experience, he's had a trauma that's not just physical. Keep in mind he needs emotional support as well.
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Old 08-06-07, 09:19 AM   #4
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I'm so happy to hear that there were no major injuries. What a relief!

Make the city do something about that %$###? intersection. A regular stoplight?
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Old 08-06-07, 10:18 AM   #5
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Where's the town maintenance crew? Several accidents at the same intersection for something as immediately fixable as chopping away brush, and perhaps putting up a few "Slow, stop ahead" signs? Shame on the town (city?) for ignoring this situation. Your son is extremely lucky, thank goodness, not to have been hurt worse. Glad all of you will be feeling better soon. Best wishes!
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Old 08-06-07, 10:23 AM   #6
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Glad your son is okay! I think you should follow up and make sure the brush gets cleared away.
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Old 08-06-07, 10:28 AM   #7
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Glad your son is okay! I think you should follow up and make sure the brush gets cleared away.

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Old 08-06-07, 10:51 AM   #8
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I worry about my son all the time. He rides all over town on his bike, and uses lights to ride even at night. He's not exactly foolhardy, but he is exactly 23 years old and I worry. I'm so glad your son is not seriously injured.

On another topic, it would appear that the city was negligent. I'm the last person who would encourage a lawsuit, but it would be worth noting if there is any issue with insurance coverage.

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Old 08-06-07, 02:47 PM   #9
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I hate it when road signs are obstructed. I just saw two on my trip. I've been known, when I have time and it is safe, to stop and clear the obstruction. These are accidents waiting to happen.

I truly feel for your son, who appears to have been an innocent victim. And for the driver who hit him, who also appears to have been an innocent victim.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:28 PM   #10
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Glad your son is okay! I think you should follow up and make sure the brush gets cleared away.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:47 PM   #11
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Clean those bushes away RIGHT AFTER you, the police, and the insurance company get pictures!
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Old 08-06-07, 06:02 PM   #12
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Glad this is turning out well. I second the motion to clear the brush ASAP. Our son rides too, this sort of thing is the stuff nightmares, following by a grateful wake up are made of. Again, I am so very happy for all of you this is turning out well.
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Old 08-06-07, 07:55 PM   #13
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Glad he is OK. However, an event at an intersection where the stop sign is hidden by foliage should be called an "inevitable", not an "accident." Get that brush cleared.

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Old 08-07-07, 01:06 PM   #14
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Clean those bushes away RIGHT AFTER you, the police, and the insurance company get pictures!
+1,000,000,000 Definitely, get pictures first!

I'm very glad to know your son is OK and not badly injured. Best wishes for a complete and swift recovery of both his body and his mind. On another positive note, this incident might make him use extra caution now that he knows what can happen, although it was clearly not his fault. Sometimes the first accident in life is the wake-up call we need to just be more aware of what is around us, and that awareness can spare us other potential accidents.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:56 PM   #15
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In the interest of public safety, critical traffic control signs have to be maintained properly. Complain to the appropriate authorities. I, too, am relieved that your son will recover; I still think the rewards of cycling outweigh the risks.
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Old 08-09-07, 06:25 PM   #16
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How about an update? How is he feeling about getting back on the road when he's mended? Is he a little nervous?
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Old 08-10-07, 10:13 AM   #17
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How about an update? How is he feeling about getting back on the road when he's mended? Is he a little nervous?
No, he's actually angry that this happened to him, and he can't do the things he wants to do, including cycling. He is recovering slower than he thought he would; the bruised ribs are the most painful and slowest to show improvement, and the ankle injury is still making it hard for him to put any weight on it for longer than a few minutes. We've started to look at new frames to switch his parts from the crashed on onto. However, given he's losing a few days of work, he's understandably a bit cautious about spending money right now. I've offered the use of one of my bikes, and he's considering it, but feels that it's his responsibility to take care of this. I feel bad for him, but I've done what I can do, and as many of us know, you can't protect 'em forever. Thanks for asking.
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Old 08-26-07, 02:41 PM   #18
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Well, it's been several weeks since he was struck by the pick-up truck. His physical injuries are almost completely healed (the miracle of youth). I am, however, concerned about his psychological state. Saw him for the first time in about a week and asked if he wanted to go for a ride. Turns out he's not been on a bike since the accident, and is pretty sure he doesn't want to get back on, "just yet." I asked his better half what she knew about it, and she said he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking there is a truck bearing down on him. What in heaven's name do I do now?
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Old 08-26-07, 03:02 PM   #19
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Is there a park trail you can go ride with him on? Being away from cars might make him more comfortable.

Has the sight line to the stop sign been taken care of? If not, and you've already taken pictures, along with informing the city of the problem, file a claim for damages against them. Although they will most liekly turn the calm down, a claim usually precedes a lawsuit, which might get them off their duffs and out there with trimming tools.
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Old 08-26-07, 03:08 PM   #20
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How old is he?
Sounds as though he'll get back on track. I second the notion of starting out gently, some place without cars. You really have to rebuild confidence after something like that and it's kinetic as much as anything. No matter how many times you replay the blocked sign and the rest, the trauma rests in the sinew so he should start slowly, but perhaps soon if riding is something he wants to continue doing.
Glad he's okay. Keep posting.
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Old 08-26-07, 03:41 PM   #21
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Is there a park trail you can go ride with him on? Being away from cars might make him more comfortable.

Has the sight line to the stop sign been taken care of? If not, and you've already taken pictures, along with informing the city of the problem, file a claim for damages against them. Although they will most liekly turn the calm down, a claim usually precedes a lawsuit, which might get them off their duffs and out there with trimming tools.
The ride I was suggesting was on a bike trail that runs along the river... no motor vehicles at all.

The intersection where the accident took place now has signs 100 yards or so before them indicating that there are stop signs ahead, and the brush has been trimmed back. The township officials were very responsive to fixing this dangerous intersection. I'm just really worried that he's experienced more than physical trauma and won't get help to deal with it.
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Old 08-26-07, 04:04 PM   #22
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Give him a little more time to get up the nerve to resume cycling. Against my wife's preferences, I got back on a bike pretty soon after my only significant collision with a motor vehicle 31 years ago (clavicle fracture, concussion, bent Reynolds 531 frame), but I am more fanatical about this sport than most folks.
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Old 08-26-07, 04:51 PM   #23
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What in heaven's name do I do now?
It's been over 20 years since I got hit, and I found out recently that one of the reasons I couldn't ride the bike I was hit on was because I was so tense when I rode it my whole body ached afterwards. I would think about the accident several* times during each ride.

Everybody is so different in their reaction to something like this, there can be no advice anyone can give you. But the one thing I'm sure of is that there is absolutely nothing* you can do. You can't push this one way or the other. There will be a time, maybe, when you give him the "get back up on the horse" speech, but if you do it too early he will assume that you just don't understand what's going on with him.

You're his Dad, so whatever you end up doing will be the right thing to do... Remember when your son was young, and he chose between you and his mom to ask questions or get advice? It was because he know how you would react and he knew that he needed what you had to offer. At some point, he will come to you, and then you will know exactly* what to do, and you will be a great help to him.
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Old 08-26-07, 04:55 PM   #24
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Well, it's been several weeks since he was struck by the pick-up truck. His physical injuries are almost completely healed (the miracle of youth). I am, however, concerned about his psychological state. Saw him for the first time in about a week and asked if he wanted to go for a ride. Turns out he's not been on a bike since the accident, and is pretty sure he doesn't want to get back on, "just yet." I asked his better half what she knew about it, and she said he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking there is a truck bearing down on him. What in heaven's name do I do now?
He's got some very natural PTSD.

If time doesn't heal, then there are other resources available. But, I would let time be a healer. Give him some room.

My wife has PTSD from some terrible incidents in her childhood. She needed professional help, even at 69yo. It has been very helpful.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:34 PM   #25
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BSLeVan, how are things going?
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