FBAD: Life on the Blue Ridge

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Fast Ferris, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    In my 50+ years of riding I've come across (or witnessed) my share of injury motorcycle accidents. Of those, I can count on one or two fingers the number of times I've actually photo-documented the crash scene (out of respect for the downed rider/s is the best way I can put it), and I don't think I've ever posted up accident pix before. I'm making an exception today, because I have some observations, and some questions.

    I enountered this very sad scene on the way home from my doctor's appointment this morning (I was in my truck); this is on the Parkway just a couple minutes from my house:

    [​IMG]
  2. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    A couple from Massachusetts, riding north up the Parkway, hit a deer that jumped out in front of them and went down pretty hard:

    [​IMG]

    I must have been only a few minutes behind the accident, based on how few cars were stacked up (in fact, there were more motorcycles than cars stopped).

    The man and woman were both alert and oriented, didn't appear to have any head trauma, and all eight limbs were pointed the right direction. (If this wreck had been any worse, I wouldn't have posted these pix. And very likely, I wouldn't have taken any photos at all). They were both obviously in shock, and both were complaining of pain.

    I have some observations, and some questions.
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  3. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Some random observations:

    -- The deer population is thick as thieves along the Parkway. They're not normally such a threat this late in the morning - dawn and dusk are the very worst times - but they're always there. The man told me the deer jumped in front of him out of nowhere. Interestingly, he said he could still see its eyes as they hit it. They had just come out of about a half-mile of direct, unfiltered sunshine and tagged the deer just as they entered the shade from the trees on this corner. Tough lighting, in other words.

    -- There had to be at least a dozen bikes stopped, and yet - as I walked up to the scene from my truck - not one of the riders I asked could tell me if the folks on the ground were riding alone, or with friends. Odd that no one had bothered to find out, I thought.

    -- One of the riders, a gal, was a nurse and was tending to the couple. At one point, while she was plugged in with the man, one of the riders approached the lady on the ground and said, "Let's get your helmet off." NO!, I said (as did the nurse). Good grief, what possesses people to think this is a good idea in this situation?

    -- And, as I was photographing the bike, one of the assembled riders said to me, "Let's grab a couple more guys and get their bike moved out of the road." NO! Their bike is not in the way (obviously no traffic was able to safely transit the crash scene), and I had already checked that the ignition was off, confirmed that the bike was fuel injected (no petcock), and was not leaking ANY fluid, including gasoline. I told the guy that the bike should stay right where it was and that the Park Ranger/s would have it moved at such time they felt the time was right.
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  4. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    And now my question/s.

    How do you help the injured riders in this situation? Immediate first aid is obvious, but what else? This couple is a long way from home, not riding with friends, very much dazed and confused (at best), and were in short order separated from their motorcycle (which has all their traveling possessions).

    Is it appropriate to exchange cell numbers with the downed riders in this situation? Being local, I could make sure their bike is well attended to, and make sure their belongings are all safely secured. I could also make any phone contacts to family and friends as necessary.

    So: OK to exchange cell numbers? Or, should I (or anyone else on-scene who was not riding with them) discreetly butt out once the professionals arrive?

    Several years ago I came upon a serious single-bike crash several hours south down the Parkway. A Ranger was waiting for the ambulance to arrive, and the rider appeared to be pretty bad off. I told the Ranger I was local and asked if I could help the rider in any way. "You're not related?" he asked. Nope. "Then there's nothing you can do." The Ranger was reluctant to even tell me what hospital the rider was being transported to, but finally relented.

    Later, when I got home, I called the hospital and explained that I wanted to help the rider if I could, but the same question: "You're not related?" Nope. "Then I can't even confirm he's here."

    I've worked a lot of years in medical records and such, and am familiar with HIPAA laws and the like, so I fully understand the rationale behind the responses I got.

    Still, it was frustrating not to be able to help a fellow rider. If I were in the same situation, I think it'd be a blessing to have someone local advocating on your behalf.

    All y'all: What are your thoughts? What can one do to help a downed rider/s when you come upon a situation like this?

    Thanks for reading.

    FF
  5. husky390

    husky390 Been here awhile

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    Well,
    First rule of EMS is BSI/Scene safety. If the patient is bleeding, you need to be conscious of the fact that you and your gear may be contaminated.
    Scene safety, if the scene is dangerous, you don’t want to become part of the scene due to fire, other motorists, etc. It appears the wreck happened in a blind corner, who’s directing traffic when you arrived on scene?

    Liability, every State is different as some have Good Samaritan laws, others don’t. You could be sued if you give what’s perceived as “bad aid”.

    Those are just some tidbits I recall from EMT school and some food for thought.

    As for the accident, you were absolutely correct in leaving their helmets on, good on you for stopping the other rider.

    As for the bike and their gear, it’s going to the impound yard I guess. Unless the owner is of sound mind to direct you, there’s not much you can do. Maybe leave a note with them with your contact info offering to help?
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  6. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    What is BSI?

    Traffic was backed up just far enough in both directions when I arrived that oncoming vehicles had plenty of time to see the commotion and stop safely on their own. No traffic could transit the crash scene. I'm unsure of what, if any, traffic direction may have occurred before I arrived.

    Good to know.

    Yeah, I assume the same.

    This one is tough, because it would be hard to argue that either of these riders today was of "sound" mind, considering shock, pain, disorientation, etc.

    Re: leaving a note, I guess I'm thinking along the lines of exchanging cell phone numbers as the electronic version of the same thing. In other words, had I given the rider my cell phone number, he could - if he wished - call or text with anything they might need during their hospital stay.

    Thanks for your reply.
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  7. husky390

    husky390 Been here awhile

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  8. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Aside from directing traffic and possibly placing flares I'd probably call 911 then provide just basic first aid if I felt injuries were life threating ie. CPR, or holding pressure on a hemorrhage.
    I'd certainly offer to haul and store a bike if the owner was in a state of mind to approve such an offer.

    Riding is just so random. You can do everything right but still fall victim to nothing more than bad luck.
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  9. Firenailer

    Firenailer Still Ridin'

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    It was a really cool stop over! They set up a really long table outside for like 20 people where riders can eat dinner, BS and mingle. It was a hoot! All kind of riders just doing the Blue Ridge thing....and yes...the outdoor bar was open!

    As for the crash - it’s always different on the road. If you're an EMT then by all means jump in. Otherwise, maybe try to handle traffic to keep the downed riders safe after checking over the bike (bikes) to make sure that they’re off, not leaking anything volatile or otherwise causing a danger...ie smoking, burning, etc. ,

    I’m retired now, but I’ve always stopped and assisted with patient care or scene safety if I come across a crash. I have to admit, I do worry about what an ambulance chasing lawyer might do, but we’re all in this together and I think offering whatever help you can is a hell of a lot better than just rolling by.
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  10. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    I think I'll have some "business" cards made up, with my name and cell number, to give to folks in this situation. It was such a sad feeling to drive away this morning, them still flat on their backs being tended to on the Parkway (I didn't leave until a Ranger and the ambulance showed up), knowing they'd be spending time in a hospital a long way from home and help. Sometimes the thing you need the most is a shoulder to lean (and/or cry) on.

    Thanks for your reply.
  11. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Yeah, that's the pretty obvious stuff. The term "BSI" is new to me, and something I'd likely not even think of if I encountered a rider who was bleeding.

    This is kinda what I was fishing for in my questions above. But, who's to say (perhaps a lawyer after the fact?) that the rider was of sound mind when they gave you their contact info and/or gave permission to take temporary possession of their bike and belongings. I think a good samaritan could potentially expose themselves to some legal liability in this regard, sad to say.

    I also imagine that the LEO on scene (a Park Ranger, in this case) might take exception to the concept of a relative stranger taking possession of the rider's bike and belongings. I like the idea of providing mental comfort to the crashed rider that their stuff is gonna be watched after and secure, but I can also see some potential problems.

    Indeed. I hope and pray that these riders are okay and perhaps just an overnight hospital stay away from getting their lives back in order. I wish I could know this for sure, but at this point it's in the Lord's hands.

    Thanks for your reply, TMan. All the best to you and your beautiful family from me 'n D.
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  12. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Denise and I have stayed at the Switzerland Inn several times over the years. We LOVE it down there. Did you check out their Diamondback Lodge while you were there?

    https://www.switzerlandinn.com/rooms/diamondback/

    I'm of the same opinion: help any way you can. These poor people this morning were absolutely helpless, vulnerable and exposed, and a long, long way from home, family and friends. If I knew who they were, and where they are now, perhaps Denise and I could be of some assistance to them in the coming days. That's the part that tears me up the most, imagining being in their shoes tonight and us not being able to help.

    Thanks for your reply, and for your service.
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  13. husky390

    husky390 Been here awhile

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    I hear ya and agree with you on all points. I don’t know how your local EMS system works but you might be able to stop by the local fire department that would have ran the call, introduce yourself, explain the situation and that you’d like to offer your assistance and see if they’ll tell you which hospital they were taken to.
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  14. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    If I could get that info - and based on prior experiences that's a big if - the hospital would be unlikely to even confirm that the riders are there, much less let me visit them, unless I could prove I was kin.
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  15. Firenailer

    Firenailer Still Ridin'

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    I didn’t look at the diamondback lodge. We booked the room on Travelocity and it was in the main hotel looking out over those fire pits and the mountains. Real nice spot and the restaurant was pretty good too!
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  16. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Work on the new island continues:

    [​IMG]
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  17. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    [​IMG]

    All the rocks, save for the three large ones in the left foreground, have been rearranged multiple times, trying to achieve the right aesthetic. Denise and I foraged another large load of rocks this morning. The smaller ones went down in the branch, and the larger ones went in the island. I spent some more time out here tonight before it got dark, tweaking the placement a bit, and we've decided to go ahead and add some flowers now instead of waiting until next season. A little splash of color and this project will be done.
  18. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    ^ Hey Sonny! How'd the rest of yours and Jennifer's trip go? :)
  19. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Seen at the drag races in Bristol, Tennessee on Friday night:

    [​IMG]
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  20. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    I ducked out to the tune of 165 miles today. Never got more than about 35-40 minutes from home, but still managed to discover some roads I'd not ridden before.

    Most of the following pix are northwest North Carolina, although there are several that were taken in southwest Virginia.

    [​IMG]