12 June 2013

There, but for the Grace of God...

Last night was good and just tragic...

I rode well, and felt good, even considering I was hossing around the CX bike.  None of that amounts to a hill of beans...

Now for the tragic...

There was a crash last night.  It was a crash that has occurred more times than the Gods of Cycling can count.
A simple touch of wheels...

Unfortunately, last night's touch of wheels ended in tragedy. 

Dr. Ed Hudson was coming up the left side of the line, looking for a spot to get in.  He came to the right, into the line, just as the line was shifting slightly to the left.  Dr. Hudson kissed wheels with the rider in front of him, wobbled a bit, and high-sided.
Charlie Martino was directly behind, and a bit off to the right.  He had nowhere to go, and plowed into Dr. Hudson. 
Both hit the pavement @ somewhere near 30mph.
Dr. Hudson crashed on his left side, hitting his head, and skidding to a stop.
Charlie flipped 180 degrees, and landed flat on his back, also striking his head on the pavement with great force.
Both were knocked unconscious.

The front of the bunch slowed, and talked about what had happened.  A few said that two had touched wheels, and gone down.  An accident that normally results in some broken bicycle parts, a cracked helmet, road rash, and at worst, a broken collarbone.

So we continued on...

Here's where normally goes out the window.

Charlie came to, obviously concussed, and beaten to hell and back from his run-in with Mr. Tarmac.

Dr. Hudson laid still, bleeding from his mouth, and an ear.  911 was called, and an ambulance arrived very shortly thereafter.
The EMTs worked on the good Doctor, loaded him up, and headed to Richland Hospital, which is a Level ONE Trauma Center.
Dr. Hudson suffered skull fractures, a large subdural hematoma, and bilateral pneumothoraces were required. 
Dr. Ed Hudson succumbed to his injuries at approximately 10pm last night. 

It was no one's fault.  The was ZERO wrongdoing on anyone's part.  It was an accident, plain and simple.  A tragic, horrific, one in a million accident.  Even the Trauma Docs at Richland said as much.

As for me, and I KNOW that NONE of this is about me, I feel like crap for not stopping and going back.  None of us could have done anything for Dr. Hudson.  I take a very small bit of solace in knowing that Dr. Hudson never felt a moment of pain prior to his passing.  That's my hope at least...

I didn't know Ed, but by all accounts, he was a super nice guy, who loved his job, his family, his friends, and his hobbies. 

As you head out the door to ride, run, swim, cartwheel...whatever...please remember that life is precious.  Hug your family a bit longer, and a bit harder.  Cherish your friends.  Be careful doing what you do, and conscious of others. 

There will be a memorial ride of sorts on Thursday Night @ 6:30 leaving the Co-Op.  It will be a slow, 2x2 ride.  Everyone stays together.  Please make the effort to be there!

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