Bike Accident at Flightpath

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

I’m sitting on the front porch Flightpath reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. About fifteen minutes ago I heard a screech and crash and stood up to see a bicyclist on the ground in the street near a pickup or SUV or some sort. I guess this tall guy in a blue hawaiian print shirt biked out from behind a bus and the driver didn’t see him and whacked him as she drove the opposite way (south) down the street. The bus was stopped at a stop sign facing north and he, I think, was biking across teh street from the strip mall that Flightpath is in. He seemed okay right after it happened — stunned, sort of, and clutching his shoulder. His mouth was all bloody and it turned out that he’d lost several teeth and knocked in several more. I offered my cellphone to him when he walked up, but he didn’t want it. He went inside to use the coffeeshop phone. The girl was a young dredlocked girl. She didn’t seem very shaken up about the incident.

— Oh, now the ambulance has left so the only evidence of the event is the sole police car parked across the street with its lights on. —

The biker claimed he was at fault.

Actually, the ambulance is gone, but the driver girl and biker guy are standing behind someone’s hatchback (with the hatch open) talking to a cop about what happened. And some fourth guy is watching. He seems okay — minus the scrapes and tooty-loss, though she looks more concerned, with her hand at her mouth kind of chewing on her fingers. She looks like she belongs at the House of Commons, with the dredlocks.

One of the guys biggest concerns seemed to be whether he’d permanently made himself ugly in the mouth, having done so much dental damage. The girl told him that she’d been hit in the mouth with a basketball in school and that had flattened her lower front teeth, but they looked okay. I don’t know if that was consoling. He seemed pissed off about it more than hurt.

The conversation has broken up and the cop’s back at his car. I think the girl is in her old black SUV, and I don’t know where the guy is. He probably took off. Now the cop’s walking back to the hatchback. Biker guy was just sitting on curb out of sight. He’s getting into the hatchback — I guess the older guy driving the hatchback is a friend or relative.

About eight minutes after the accident the first firetruck drove by, then an ambulance showed up a couple minutes later and the firetruck and a couple cop cars parked nearby. The paramedics came and checked the guy out. He went into the street with the oriental chick who seemed like she saw the accident most clearly (I turned my head at the sound of schreeching tires). They went into the street to look for his missing front teeth. I hope they found them. If not, there may be some souveniers still laying around out there.

At 4:50, life seems to have returned mostly to normal.

Marty Kang just came by, a girl from E325M that I seem destined to run into once every few months. She’s been teaching English in Korea and is back for a few weeks in February. She’s got a boyfriend who’s a tall white guy with slicked back hair and a big smile. Wearing dark slacks and a neat-and-clean dress shirt.

Adam seems to be the biker guy’s name. He and the girl are standing in front of me, now, talking about what to do next. He’s missing his front teeth but I guess that doesn’t make smoking a cigarette impossible. They’re exchanging insurance information.

Sucks that this will turn into a huge paperwork/phonecall mess in the coming weeks and months. That, to me, would be the real injury — having to fucking deal with it for so long. Maybe it’ll turn out to be simpler than I think. They seem to be laughing and talking cordially. They’re both cute — they’d make a good couple. “Adam and I met one afternoon after I hit him with my truck. Struck by love, you could say.”

The older friend is trying to convince him to go to St. David’s. A good idea, I think.

Well, as far as paperwork mess goes, I guess that’s okay. The cool thing, to me, is the quickness of emergency resonse. Those guys were here. Right away. And this was a minor incident. Makes me feel better to know that this service is available for us and people, I think, for the most part take it for granted. Like it just should exist, like the air and sun. Hard to even think about life without 911, it’s so ubiquitous. Good thing. One of the perks of living in the United States that can be taken for granted.

No everyone has left including the police. If you were to arrive at the Flightpath right now, you’d never know anything had been wrong… Like this big, slow-walking gentleman who just entered the establishment. No idea.