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Freak Accident on SART

Old 12-28-06, 10:35 AM
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Freak Accident on SART

So yesterday morning I wasn't planning on riding, my wife and I were going to take the kids to Legoland for the day. I got up, saw sunshine and somwhat dry roads. I decided to just go for a recovery ride down SART to PCH, up to Golden West and back. I suffered through the headwinds going north on PCH, going about 10-12 mph, and reaped the benefits as I sailed south on PCH on my way back. The whole time I'd been keeping my HR really low, and just enjoying the fresh air. I hopped back onto SART to head toward Talbert (my offramp). As I was approaching the Water Treatment Plant, I was looking at their windsocks, trying to determine if I was going to get any tailwind. I noticed that the temporary chainlink construction fence was tilted pretty badly, then I realized that it wasn't tilted, it was in the middle of blowing over I tried to get out of the way, but the top of the fence caught me, and took me down hard. My bike was stuck under the 70' section of fence that came down. The top of the fence caught me arm, back and side, and put nice evenly spaced sliced all the way down. I look like a "cutter" The back of my head hit hard enough to destroy my helmet. A guy that was heading south and just missed getting hit himself, stopped and got help. The Water Treatment Plant has it's own first aid staff that came to help, they decided to call for an ambulance. Long story short, I get taken to Hoag, and find out that I have a compression fracture on my L1 vertabrae I'm going to pick my bike up today and take over to SSC and have them assess it. One of the scariest things, is thinking of all the joggers, families without helmets, etc., that use SART, it could've been much worse, if it was someone else that got thrown down. I also heard the workers say that the fence blew over a week ago, this really pisses me off, as you'd think that would be a sign Here's some pics from my camera phone, hopefully I'll be back on the road soon.


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Old 12-28-06, 10:44 AM
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Damm dude hope you feel better soon
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Old 12-28-06, 10:45 AM
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Wow! I'm happy to hear you're OK. I'm far from the sueing type, but you should find out who's responsible for that fence and go after them.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:45 AM
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Oh my, that's terrible. I hope you heal up nice and quick and that your bike checks out ok too. Amazing that the plant had this happen a week ago and didn't take the precautions needed to keep the users of SART safe.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:46 AM
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Wow, Pat... That's awful. What a random bit of unlucky. Glad you're relatively okay. Heal up!

I hope the water treatment plant plans to pay for your medical and bike repair... at the very least. That's f'n unbelievable that the fence already blew over once before and there doesn't appear that there were any sort of anchors.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:48 AM
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I'm so glad you're okay (albeit injured). That is freak and could have been worse. You're more important, but I'm still going to wish your bike no major damage as well. Get well soon!
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Old 12-28-06, 10:48 AM
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Wow, I'm so sorry... I hope you heal quickly and that your bike checks out okay... sending healing thoughts your way...

trac'
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Old 12-28-06, 10:52 AM
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Boy,that is scary. Heal soon.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:59 AM
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Wow Pat...hope you recover quickly. Like you said, good thing no one else was on that stretch.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:07 AM
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Holy **** Pat! I am so sorry that happened. Sending you some quick healing vibes and big hugs!
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Old 12-28-06, 11:21 AM
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Thanks everyone I'm pretty much of the anti-ambulance chaser mentality, and so far the construction company has said that they'll cover all medical, bike and whatever other expenses. It really does bother me that this already happened, and a bunch of $2 sandbags probably could've prevented this. I'm gonna get my back checked out by an ortho and get my bike checked out as well. I feel bad for my kids, I had the week off work, with all sorts of fun stuff planned, and now it looks like it will be Xbox on the couch
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Old 12-28-06, 11:23 AM
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That does suck Pat. Your kids will be happy with you and the Xbox though, they're resilient and just like having dad around, I'm sure.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by OC Roadie
Thanks everyone I feel bad for my kids, I had the week off work, with all sorts of fun stuff planned, and now it looks like it will be Xbox on the couch
Oh, I'm sure they'll love just having dad with them playing Xbox!! It's the time together, not the activities planned that make kids happy. Hopefully, your back will be better in no time.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:24 AM
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hope you heal well, crappy that happened. I'm glad that it wasn't any worse then it was or like you said, it fell on some kids or joggers.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:25 AM
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WTF?!

You deserve proper compensation for your injuries.

I'm glad you are, relatively, ok.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by I am The Edge
You deserve proper compensation for your injuries.
Don't sign anything that says you won't sue. Back injuries can come back (no pun intended) to haunt you. Make sure there's no chance of chronic problems before you accept any kind of compensation, or just get a lawyer. This was negligence plain and simple, you could probably get a pretty big settlement if you wanted to. At the very least you need to make sure you get what's fair.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:53 AM
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I'm glad you are ok - it looks like a freak accident for sure, and one that could have been worse for you or others - heal up quick!
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Old 12-28-06, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiffanie
Amazing that the plant had this happen a week ago and didn't take the precautions needed to keep the users of SART safe.
yeah, just looking at the photo, you can tell the entire fence ins't stable. i'm sure me, and maybe another person, could knock that whole thing down just as easily as the wind did.
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Old 12-28-06, 12:05 PM
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Get well soon
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Old 12-28-06, 12:17 PM
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Holy smokes Pat! I am very sorry to hear about your accident, and wish you a speedy recovery. Best wishes, and hope to see you back out there real soon
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Old 12-28-06, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kemmer
Don't sign anything that says you won't sue. Back injuries can come back (no pun intended) to haunt you. Make sure there's no chance of chronic problems before you accept any kind of compensation, or just get a lawyer. This was negligence plain and simple, you could probably get a pretty big settlement if you wanted to. At the very least you need to make sure you get what's fair.
I would never sign away my rights for legal action/compensation. I'm going to wait until I see an orthpedic back specialist, before I really give much thought to how to pursue this. I've got cyclist friends that are lawyers, that would probably jump at this. Thanks again everyone for the encouraging words.
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Old 12-28-06, 01:01 PM
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Wow, glad you're ok. Last night, we were driving home through the Sepulveda Basin when we came across a 100+ year old tree that had fallen across Burbank Blvd and struck a car (maybe two!) and people were trapped inside. I got to wait for a few minutes while the fire engines got into position before they let me turn around. The occupants are in my prayers as are you now, but I'm staying away from the basin MUP until this wind subsides.
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Old 12-28-06, 01:26 PM
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Glad to hear you weren't hurt any worse, and best wishes for a speedy recovery! I've never liked those temp fences, especially in a straight line for long distances!
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Old 12-28-06, 01:59 PM
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Hello,

That is just awful! I hope that you heal completely and quickly.

If I remember correctly you were planning on doing a stage race in Nevada soon so that's double bad fortune.

Obviously that wind was treacherous in many ways.
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Old 12-28-06, 02:01 PM
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Dear OC:

You get better, you hear?

I work in a law office (secretary), and I get to see it all -- plaintiff's cases, defense cases, frivolous non-cases, and the stuff that just makes you see blood. And I hate unnecessary litigation, too. However!! Lawsuits are God's little way of keeping people on the straight and narrow, since consciences have gone out of fashion. Yes, that construction company had their fence blow over once before. Yes, they should have reinforced it to protect others. But, since they didn't, someone got very badly hurt. Perhaps a nice little lawsuit will help them remember to be a little more conscientious next time. Because next time, if it should ever happen again, the next person might NOT be so lucky. And that's probably the real reason you should bring a lawsuit -- to protect the NEXT person. They might not pay attention to a lone cyclist or jogger. But when their insurance carrier threatens to cancel their liability insurance because they are not acting to protect the public, then you can be sure they will pay attention to THAT.

You take care of yourself, and don't sign any releases until you talk to an experienced attorney.

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