Rider Down

8 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Rider down 12~15miles from Piermont on 501 (top of hill). Lots of police and at least two other cars. I don't know what happened but did not look good. Happened between 3-4, I hope there allright.
Hate to mention it, but it makes me a little more carefull maybe you too!!

Anonymous's picture
Matt P. (not verified)

"A friend and I were out riding and arrived on this accident 5 minutes after he went down. The victim is a man in his mid 60s, a Manhattan resident named ""Charlie"" riding a Litespeed. If anyone knows him, I'm also curious to know how he is doing.

From what witnesses told us, he is ""just getting back into cycling."" They told us he was low on H20 and not wearing a helmet. They told us he got to the top of the rise at the state line and collapsed. He apparently hit his head on the pavement.

We found the victim unconscious with a pool of blood under his head. My friend checked him out while at least three others on scene called 911. The 911 operator asked me where I was. I told her ""9W at the New York/New Jersey state line."" She asked me what state I was in. I told her ""New Jersey"" and she asked if I was in south Jershey or north Jersey. I told her I did not know. She transferred me to the NJ State Police dispatcher. I told the dispatcher where I was, and he said I was calling the wrong region. He said he would call the ""county"" and that I should hang up.

Five minutes later Charlie regained consciousness but was very groggy. He insisted on standing up, but we gently forced him back to the ground.

After waiting another 15 minutes for EMTs, I finally went to the guard shack at the Columbia U. Earth Institute. Although only 30 feet away, the guard had no idea there had been an accident. I asked him to call for help, and he dialed the Alpine police station immediately. A police car arrived on scene 5 minutes later, and another one 2 minutes later.

IMHO, the police took this rather lightly. They talked for a few minutes, put on their gloves, got their medical bags out. They then realized they didn't have any gauze pads.

Meanwhile, civilians had stopped in their cars, a doctor and a nurse, who generally took control of the situation. About 5 minutes after the police arrived, an EMT finally arrived--approximately 25-30 minutes after I came upon the victim.

That response time is a joke. I can only imagine what would have happened to the victim had he suffered serious bleeding. As it is, I would guess he has a serious concussion and is dehydrated.

Lessons: Wear your helmet, hydrate, carry the phone numbers for the local first-responders and be careful out there."

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)
Thanks Matt

I don't know the gentleman but I hope he's OK.
Thank you for all that you did, and your advice.

Anonymous's picture
Eric Faber (not verified)
You're a good Man Matt P.

I suppose you were hangin' with Joe D.?

Anonymous's picture
Matt P. (not verified)

I think most of us would have done the same. I was actually surprised at the number of people who stopped to offer help.

I was riding with a guy I met that day on Riverside Drive. He had just gotten in from a 48-hour sailboat race, but he jumped in and handled the situation like a pro. Thanks, Sam, wherever you are.

Anonymous's picture
Jimmy (not verified)

This story is another reminder to put the Alpine police station phone number into your cell phone. Obviously the 911 folks aren't always able to figure out where cyclists are very quickly, but the alpine police station is.

Here's the number in case you don't have it: 201-769-6001

Hope you never need it, but its a good idea to put it in your cell phone just in case.

Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)
very helpful, thanks (nm)
Anonymous's picture
E. Novélo (not verified)
NYCC First Aid Class for Cyclists

After an injury, a person has a surge of adrenalin and will try to stand. Before the rider moves, the NYCC First Aid Class for Cyclists suggested the following:

-- Don’t move the person if at all possible.

-- Don’t remove the helmet - not relevant in this incident :-(

Observe the rider to determine their condition. Use “yes” and “no” type questions. Ask “Are you ok?” “Do you remember what happen?” Check for injuries by palpating index and center fingers. Asked the rider if they can move their fingers and toes. Try assessing whether s/he lost consciousness – this is important because there may be a concussion. Write this information and give it to EMS.

If possible become the cyclist’s advocate at the hospital until family/friend(s) arrive.

IMHO, keeping the rider on the ground helps alert passing cars who would also call 911, a health care professional may stop, and the 911 operator will give the incident a higher priority. I carry a thin silver emergency blanket in my first aid kit that would keep the rider warm.

Anonymous's picture
Baruch (whatmeurgent yahoo com) (not verified)
what's in a name

"Think of the future - If we all stop calling both Henry Hudson Drive and Alpine Approach Road, ""River Road"", then if any of us in the future needs to call 911, the police operators might better understand us.

Is there a contact person at the Palisades Park Authority, or whoever is in charge of those roads, to suggest signage or street paint markings, for the name of the roads, and for kilometer or mile markings?

cycling trips