Hank – We left the campground around 7:30 am and got on US Hwy 1 to Titusville. We had good shoulder or bike lane almost the entire time on the highway.
We stopped at a restaurant for a late breakfast where the woman who waited on us charmed us with her surliness. But the food was good so the experience was much better than expected at first.
I was surprised and pleased the we had very little traffic while we were on Hwy 1. The day went well until we stopped at a gas station to take a break. When we were about to leave there was a terrible collision just across the street. Kathy writes about that below.
For the last few miles into Titusville we got to ride on a paved trail, which was very nice. Then we had city streets to the hotel, about half of which had bike lanes.
After cleaning up and doing laundry we walked to a nearby steakhouse for dinner. It’s always happy hour there, which accounts for the bar being fully seated, and ordering a drink gets you two for the price of one. I ordered two drinks with my dinner.
All in all, a rather unremarkable day except for a sad and unfortunate remarkable event. We have sightseeing scheduled for the next four days.
Kathy – Today we rode 50 miles. It was a beautiful sunny day in Florida with temps in the low 70’s. The ocean breeze kept us cool. We rode on Highway 1 which is for the most part a divided four-lane highway with traffic going at 60 MPH. We had a nice shoulder and traffic was pretty light so that helped make the ride more pleasurable.
Around 11:00 am today we were 35 miles into our ride so we decided to stop at a gas station to get off the bikes for a few minutes and have a drink and snack. After we were there about 15 minutes and getting ready to head out we heard a loud bang. There was a car accident directly in front of the gas station. I immediately ran over to see if I could offer any medical assistance.
A van was hit on the drivers side by a large truck that was going 60 mph. The car spun around and was hit a second time. The car’s damage was pretty bad on both sides.
Mom had some significant injuries, but her eight year old daughter who was belted into the drivers side middle seat took most of the impact. I could see she had a severe head injury. I managed to crawl into the car as I noticed she was not breathing. I immediately opened her airway which helped. She was totally unresponsive for the first few minutes and it took about five minutes for her to even moan. She eventually cried, but was not really coherent. I maintained C-spine precautions and tried to calm her. Once the medics arrived, I put the c-collar on her, gave them a report on what transpired before their arrival, and then turned everything over to them. They took her by ambulance to the hospital about five miles away where a chopper was waiting. She was quickly airlifted to the nearest Children’s Hospital. I pray that they are both going to be ok. My ask, please say a few prayers for this little girl and her mother, they need it.
Once I cleaned up all the blood off my hands and arms at the gas station and got the pieces of glass out of my knees/legs (from leaning in the car while taking care of her). I immediately got on the bike to finish up our last 15 miles of riding to the hotel in Titusville, Florida. I must say I really don’t remember much about that part of our ride as my thoughts and prayers were with mom and daughter.
I haven’t worked in the emergency department in about 12 years. I am thankful that my 20 years of emergency department nursing returned immediately and I was able to assist a little here. Hopefully that little girl will not have any lasting injuries and recover quickly.
Today reminded me of how vulnerable Hank and I are out on the roads riding every day. We really are trusting and depending on strangers to stay focused on their driving and not hit us. We do what we can to be visible and create as much distance between the cars and us, but things can change in an instant as they did for these two today. I promise we will continue to do what we can to be safe. In the meantime, please keep this mom and daughter in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you. 💗💗💗
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