Dead Meat?

On April 4, 1994, I was in a wreck. It was a little past sunset, and I was headed up an access road at 55 (the speed limit). Some bozo pulled out in front of me, way too close. Claimed he never saw me. Despite my bike headlight being at his eye level. Despite my being the only other vehicle on that stretch of (straight, flat) roadway.

I got on the brakes hard, slowed down to 10-20 MPH, and crashed. Don't know if I hit him or not. Woke up some minutes later with very kind, unknown women in my face, who apparently knew what to do in these situations. At first I thought I was going to die, because it hurt so bad when I breathed, but God's peace quickly came over me, and I knew it was all OK. Live or die - it was OK. They said I was 10 feet from the bike, which looked "OK".

By the time the ambulance got there, I had ascertained that everything worked except my left shoulder, around the clavicle. It hurt! Not OK.

I asked them to call my church (which I had just left), as they would call my wife (who was just getting back in town from visiting family in GA). They cut off most of my pants (but left enough for modesty's sake), and my hand-sewn Guatemalan tee shirt (but they left the design intact - I may frame it). I talked them through removing my helmet. We proceeded to the hospital. Where they finished removing all but my underwear (which did not have holes in them, even after the crash).

Won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say I had

My helmet is history. Thanks to good leather shoes and gloves, my extremities were merely sore. My jacket merely had a nasty scuff mark where I tumbled (probably when I broke the clavicle). Leather pants would have kept my knee safer, but the heavy jeans still did a good job.

I was on Percodan and home from work for a month. After 2 weeks, I cut down to half doses of Percodan. I started telecommuting 3 - 4 hours a day. I expected to start back part-time regularly to work Friday, May 6. However, the doc said the day before that I was doing so well, he wanted me off the Percodan. Withdrawal! No way I was going in today in that shape. But by Monday, May 9, I was able to start back at work. Now I'm back up to full time. I've been swimming and other fun stuff. My left arm still is nearly healed, but I still need to rebuild some strength in it.

All in all, I'm doing well. The bike should be ready soon (back-ordered parts).


The guy who hit me was clearly an idiot, when it comes to paying attention. On the other hand, he stopped & flagged people down instead of leaving me to become roadkill, and admitted to the cop that he didn't see me and that it was his fault. Now that I'm settled with the insurance company, I intend to hunt this guy down and thank him for that.

As annoyed as I get with yoyos who let their cellular phone conversations distract them from their driving, I was glad someone with a phone stopped that night to call the cops & my family. If you have a cellular phone (or ham gear, or CB, whatever), don't be a bozo - help out!

Motorcycles are everywhere! Many people claim they can't see them - then they must be legally blind. Would they see a four year old run into the road? Of course! Which is bigger, louder (well, sometimes), and more visible?

Pay attention. Don't just notice things that can hurt you. Don't kill or maim someone just because of laziness.

Last updated: 15 May 1995

Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514