Cal2009: Day6: 8/22, Eureka to.. CRASH!
Ted's story:
We left the fancy-hotel in the morning, then headed of Eureka and east on Highway 299, south along remote roads, then west on Highway 36.
Faye, riding.
Faye, riding.
Faye, riding.
Faye, riding.
Faye, riding.
Faye, riding.
It turned out that the remote roads had turned very remote. In other words, they were gravel roads. Faye powered along on her FZ6, not really complaining about the gravel (just the heat).
Ted's bike on gravel.
Ted's bike on gravel.
Faye and Ted's bike.
Faye and Ted's bike.
Faye, kissing the pavement (glad to be done with the gravel).
Faye, kissing the pavement (glad to be done with the gravel).
When we got through to Hyampom, it was paved again. Aside from one rude flagger, the ride down to Hayfork was fairly easy (but hot). We got down to Hayfork and looked for food and gas- nope. So we rode out of town to the northeast until we found a gas station slash deli. The power was out to all of Hayfork, but the gas station had a generator running to provide power to the building and the pumps. The food was mediocre, the service was slow, but at least it was edible.
Off we left, headed south through Hayfork and onto Highways 3 and 36. The road was very curvy, and I was delighting in the road. Around one corner there was an apparent oil spill- I don't remember it, but my bike hit it and likely highsided off the road to the right, leaving me with a sore shoulder, rashed sides, rashed leg, and bonked helmet.
Faye's side of the story:
So there I was. Enjoying the curvy roads, albeit slightly anxious due to the dirt/sand/gravel at spots in the center of the road and lanes. It was hot, but it felt good to be moving. Ted was ahead of me, we had been doing a sort of leap-frog riding where he goes ahead as he is faster and has the GPS to route, then periodically waits for me to catch up then repeat.
I had was just rounding a fairly tight blind right-hander around a hill/mountain and I see something scattered plastic in the road, the bike in the ditch, and Ted laying in the middle of the road on his back. SHIT! I quickly stop the bike and run over to Ted. He is unconscious, but has a pulse and is breathing. I try to do a once-over, but it is hard to see what is going on with all the gear on. I pull out my cell phone and turn it on to see if I have coverage. As I wait for the phone to turn on, I look him over some more and yell at him to see if I can wake him up. He has some road rash on his right side, but it doesn't look too bad.
Bike wreck (this is where the bike stopped)
Bike wreck (this is where the bike stopped)
Looking back through the diesel spill
Looking back through the diesel spill
Bike and the diesel spill
Bike and the diesel spill
My phone doesn't have service. A guy stops and helps me pull my bike off to the side. He doesn't have coverage either so I start looking for our SPOT messenger, which will contact 911. It had been by the tank bag, which had flown off the bike and is on the road. No SPOT. There are some things down the road a ways, but I can't tell what exactly. By now, there is a couple stopping traffic around the corner, and we find someone with coverage. He connects me to 911 who is sending everyone on their way.
The fire and sheriff are coming from (somewhat) nearby Hayfork, but ambulance has to come from Weaverville. Ted is still out, I can get him to open his eyes momentarily, but not focus or say anything. I get some cold water from the nice PG&E workers on their way through, and use that and a towel from the tank bag to try and keep his face cool. I shade his head with my jacket to block the sun. Other than that, there isn't much I can do. He doesn't appear to be bleeding except for the road rash, and there are no obvious broken bones.
An EMT is in one of the cars that has stopped. It is maybe 10 minutes after my call to 911. She checks him out real quick, but there isn't anything more she can do. She sticks around to see if anything is needed. The fire and sheriff arrive. They check Ted out, and put him in a neck brace and pull off his helmet. I am moving between the two giving Ted's information and trying to arrange for the bikes to be towed & stored until I can take care of them later.
I ask to ride with Ted to the hospital, at which point I'm told he will be flown to Redding and I may not be allowed on the helicopter. I really don't want to have to take the bike 2 hours to the hospital, so I figure I can work something out and get a car. Except it is very rural.. I'm letting the sheriff try and figure this out while I keep an eye on Ted. They are strapping him onto the backboard, getting vitals, etc. The ambulance arrives, and they tell me for sure that I can't go on the heli. I hear the helicopter overhead, looking for a landing spot. They decide on a spot further down the road.
The EMT who had stopped offered me a ride - they were my rescuers. They drove me all the way to Redding and were the sweetest ladies. Thank you Linda & Jan! They get Ted loaded into the ambulance and take off for the landing area for the helicopter. I have to wait for CHP to arrive and take a report. The sheriff gets in touch with a towing company who will come and get both the bikes and store them until I can get them picked up. I gather up the motorcycle gear that doesn't have a set home on the bike and leave everything else packed and loaded on the bikes so that they will be there waiting at the tow yard. I don't take the time to try and get into the luggage to grab clothes or anything. I hop into the car with the ladies and head off to Redding. The last thing I remember the paramedics saying (to each other) was that they hadn't been able to get Ted to move his feet.
Two and a half long hours later, I am at the ER at Mercy Hospital in Redding. The staff there is very nice and helpful. The neurosurgeon is reading the CAT scan report and evaluating Ted. The Dr takes off the neck brace and tells me that the scan shows a little bleeding in the brain. He wants him transferred to the ICU for observation. I start to gather information from the nurse.. he has had full-body scans and there isn't anything broken. The main concern right now is the blood in his brain. It is only a small spot, but they need to watch him and make sure that it doesn't get worse. His road rash has been cleaned up, but it's not bandaged. It's worse on his right side, but not terrible, only oozing in one area. He is complaining of a headache and mostly that his right shoulder is really sore. He has me check it a couple times for bruising, but I don't find anything.
Right side scrapes.
Right side scrapes.
Left side scrapes.
Left side scrapes.
He is taken up to the ICU for the night where they will keep an eye on his telemetry and monitor for signs of worsening brain trauma. I'm not allowed to stay in the room, so I get a room at the Howard Johnson. First, I have the taxi take me to Target to pick up some things that Ted has already been asking for.. shirt & underwear (his had been cut off by the paramedics), socks & shoes, a new shirt & underwear for me and a toothbrush. Then I get to the motel, have a quick shower and try to decompress. A check-in call to Ted's family, and I find out that they are headed down already with a trailer to bring us home with the bikes and because parents worry A LOT when their kid is in the hospital. I set my alarm and try and get some sleep.
(Faye, next day)
I grabbed a taxi and headed to the hospital, where Ted's family has just arrived. Ted is awake and talking, a little groggy and can't remember much. We visit with him and go over what happened, he can't remember the accident, but as the day progresses he starts remembering the earlier part of the day. He thinks he remembers them saying they were transferring him to ICU last night, but not much else.
Fred and Tim arrange to pick up the bikes and leave for Douglas City with the trailer and a release form from me so that the tow company will let them take the motorcycles. They return and have pictures on the camera to show Ted, as he is of course really curious about all of that. The luggage took a lot of the force and the left side has sheared off a bolt. The right side case has a few more scrapes and dents, and the dry bag on top wore through and probably tore the tent inside. The mirrors are shattered, the windscreen will need to be replaced as well as the handlebars and probably the mounting brackets for the happy trails. I don't know what else.
Both bikes, loaded on the flatbed wrecker.
Both bikes, loaded on the flatbed wrecker.
Scraped case.
Scraped case.
Both bikes, loaded in the enclosed trailer.
Both bikes, loaded in the enclosed trailer.
The neurosurgeon ordered another CAT scan and comes in later in the day to see Ted. He doesn't have much of a bedside manner, and so I don't get much out of him, except that he is still waiting on the radiological report on the CAT scan. The critical care doc and trauma surgeon both see him and feel that he is ready to go home. They consult with the neurosurgeon, who reviews the radiological report now and sees that the bleed has gotten a bit bigger instead of smaller, so Ted has to stay another night for observation. They put in a transfer to the general ward, but they end up leaving him in ICU because they have a lot of open beds and the transfer was put in late in the day. I stay with his family at a nice hotel in town and feel a bit better since I now have things like a cell phone charger and shoes.
Crash map
Here's where the crash happened.
Madstad bracket
These pictures are here for the Madstad folks.
Madstad bracket
Madstad bracket
Madstad bracket
Madstad bracket
Madstad bracket
Madstad bracket
. .
 

 


perljam.net home