Date: Wednesday, May 03 @ 14:49:01 EDT
Topic: Rally News
yea, it was pretty bad.
Olie was riding number 3 behind Noel and me.
I went around a corner. Olie was right behind me. Next corner he wasn't. I slowed down, then stopped, then went back.
I came around a corner and had the shock of my life!
I assumed I would find him on the side of the road having a smoke, or tinkering with his bike.
To my horror, I saw Olie's bike on it's side, wedged under the guardrail and Olie pinned under the bike.
The only thing I could do was to hold up the front of the bike off of him.
Fortunately, two duosport riders that we had just passed a few miles before arrived on the scene and the three of us managed
to move the bike out of the way. Although I'm no doctor, it seemed like Olie was just "coming to".
An RV from Colorado that was towing a small station wagon stopped. After assessing the situation (no cell service, and the time & distance to go get help and back) we thought it better to lay him down in the station wagon and get him to the fire dept. back in Trona.
Noel arrives on the scene and takes total control of everything there as I ride with Oliver in the station wagon being towed by the RV.
The only thing I can do is keep pressure on what is now a totally blood soaked towel on the right side of his head and keep him talking.
Talk about an answer to a prayer - Noel is able to get a cell phone signal in a 60+ mile black out area !!! The volunteer fire dept. medical team is waiting for us out front of the fire dept. Olie's right eye is completely swollen shut. Honestly, I didn't even know if it was still there. There was blood EVERYWHERE !!! Roadrash on his left knee was down to the bone. You could see his scalp behind the right ear and a good cut on his nose.
The medical team sees that he needs much more help. They order air transport. Because it will take so long for the helicopter, an ambulance is ordered out of Ridgecrest. We start heading towards Ridgecrest in the fire dept. ambulance, where we meet the medical ambulance out of Ridgecrest and transfer Olie from one ambulance, to the other, literally on the side of the road. We wait at the Ridgecrest hospital for air transport.
All these people were total professionals and were wonderful in their efforts to help our friend. For the first time in my life, I felt that I may have missed my "calling" in not doing something that involved helping people. I was crying inside. I stood there watching Olie rise in the air; the rotor wash almost blowing me off my feet. Now the hard part, I had to make "the phone call" to Kathy. Busy. Cell phone not on. Call the house phone again.
Mechelia answers. Kathy is not home, so she takes a message to call me. Having ridden in the ambulance with Olie to Ridgecrest, but refused my request to go in the helicopter with him, I'm stranded at the hospital. Kathy calls and I give her the news....
An hour or so later she calls me back to say that Olie has arrived at the Arrowhead Medical Center in Colton, CA. She was told by the trauma dept. nurse that she should get there ASAP....
she drives all night to get there. I'm doing the only thing I can at this point: waiting & praying. Then it occurs to me: Olie's wrecked bike is on the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere; so is mine - with the key in it!!!
All this time I had no idea what a great job Noel was going on taking care of everything back at the crash site. I didn't know that he had argued, and won, a battle of wits with AAA about having the tow truck driver pick him up at the pay phone he was at so he could also get my bike back to the fire dept. and lock it up.
Noel knows where I am. The only thing I can do is wait ..... 3 1/2 hours latter the tow truck driver picks up Noel and they drive out to the crash site and load Olie's H-D on the flatbed. Noel rides my CBX back to the fire station, gets his CBX and follows Olie's bike to the dealership in Ridgecrest, picking me up at the hospital on the way.
The Honda dealer is closed, but they have a large pile of junk bikes and crating material at the back of the parking lot. We move the end bike (an old Kawi triple) over and put Olie's pride & joy in the pile. We cover it with a tarp and old tires. We ride 2 up back to the fire dept. outside Trona to get my bike.
I think it was about 9PM when we got into Death Valley. Noel & I were mentally, emotionally & physically drained; not to mention HUNGRY. We get to our rooms ( which are next door to each other - the girls got there much earlier) and the nicest thing happened: our CBX friends had dinner waiting for us. Mostly cold leftovers, but the best meal I ever had - kindness is delicious !
Tammy talks to Kathy. Olie may have a broken leg; they have put a breathing tube in his throat; and he is in a coma due to head trauma. It is a sad night in a happy place. Everyone has trouble sleeping. 4:50 AM - Tammy's cell phone rings. I awake thinking that a phone call at this hour can only mean one thing ... Turns out that it was her cell phone alarm that she forgot to turn off from the previous morning!
Sunday is a new day and mid morning brings good news - Olie is conscience, tube removed, talking, and in his own ICU room !!!
We were told no broken bones, but were later told on Monday that he had a broken finger. Oliver is discharged early Monday morning and Kathy drives him home - an 8+ hour drive. Terry, George, Noel & I ride out of Death Valley feeling much better than when we rode in two days before ...
We stopped to analyze the crash site on our way back to Ridgecrest. Looks like he either came too wide around a corner or hit a rock coming out of the corner and may have tried to overcorrect with a new (less than 100 miles) rear tire. Noel walked off 100' of gouges in the road that stop at the deformed guardrail.
When we get to Ridgecrest (again), we rent a U-Haul one-way trailer to haul the H-D back to Noel's house. Because Terry's wife, Susan, does not feel comfortable pulling a trailer, we put my CBX in the trailer too. I drive the air conditioned Cadillac SUV through the hot desert. Well, somebody had to do it ....
I called Kathy to let her know that Olie's bike is safe. Olie is home & sleeping. Won't know any more until he sees his own doctors. So far, so good...
I know this has been a bit long winded, but it's the middle of the night & I can't sleep ....
All our best & ride safe!