Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle’

MIA the last week of May

6 June 2010

I totally missed posting last week. My baby brother, Timothy (27), wrecked his Harley the afternoon of Saturday 29 May and landed himself in the hospital for most of a week. :-/

Here’s what happened, from what he and his girlfriend, Laura (who was riding with him) told me:

They were riding back to their house after running an errand for our mom. They were going along a fairly busy street at about 35 – 40 mph, he turned his head to check if he was clear to change lanes. The 3 cars in front of him must have braked quickly – as he had just turned his head back to the front and had to make emergency stopping preparations.

My brother is a big boy, about 6’2″, 270#; his girlfriend, is quite petite – maybe 5’4″ and 120#. His main thought was to make sure to keep himself between Laura and danger.

He hit the side of the first car in front of him and threw his fist through the back windshield, but kept his bike upright. The second car in front of him must have spazzed out, because they pulled out of line, which ended up putting it right in the path of my brother’s bike, and he hit it too. He *almost* kept it upright after the second impact, but he ended up laying it down.

Though he ended up having a slight cut to his liver and a rather damaged spleen, he had no further injuries other than road rash and Laura got out with only some road rash.

Just after the accident, he felt fine and they ended up going on to their house. Within about an hour and a half of being home, he realised something was wrong and had the good sense to go to the hospital. The first hospital they went to weren’t equipped for the trauma level he was needing, so they ambulanced him to a second hospital where he spent about 3 hours in the Trauma unit of the ER before being released to ICU for just over 2 days.

Apparently, the spleen is a pretty important organ. It is an emergency blood reservoir, and in humans, stores platelets to assist in clotting (thanks for the info WiseGeek).  Though, at first, they were having some difficulty encouraging my brother’s spleen to stop bleeding, they didn’t want to remove it. Once it stabilized, he got to move to a regular hospital room.

Tim was released from the hospital Thursday morning, and other than not lifting anything over 20 pounds for the next 6 weeks and being rather sore and beat up feeling, he’s ok.

I tell you this story so that if you are a bike rider, be it Harley, Yamaha or Schwinn – be very careful. As a friend from BrightKite put it the other day, “consider yourself invisible.” My brother is a good rider – and from what I understand from other riders, he did all the right things to get out of the situation without incident.

Wear a helmet; even if your state doesn’t require a helmet to be worn by law. It might look goofy, but it will help protect you in an accident. You’ll look goofier if you have to have reconstructive surgery after an accident in which you were not wearing a helmet.

Make sure you wear the right attire when on your motorcycle. Shorts and sandals are NOT appropriate. I’d think twice about wearing a tanktop alone, too.

Harley riders usually seem to be conscientious and mannered riders; however sport bike riders, like Kawasakis etc, don’t usually seem to be so thoughtful when they ride. It is NOT intelligent to weave between cars on the highway, or any road for that matter, at 120 mph. Use common sense  when you’re riding.

I’m nervous as hell to drive near people on motorcycles, because you never know what can happen to them – and you can guess, that I’m even more nervous to be ON one.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox about motorcycle safety. back to regularly scheduled programming.