3 years ago10,000+ Views
Even on the crowded, chaotic streets of New York City, it is a rare occurrence for a person riding a bicycle to strike a person on foot. Rarer still is for that collision to result in serious or fatal injury. This type of accident is mostly seen with motorists hitting pedestrians; in New York 156 pedestrians were killed and thousands injured by cars in 2013 alone. Jill Tarlov, who was crossing the park's West Drive on foot, was struck by a cyclist—reportedly riding a high-end road bike and traveling at high speed— and knocked to the ground with such force that she was left brain-dead. She later died in the hospital. Almost immediately following the reports of the crash involving Tarlov, waves of passionate responses broke out online. People who love to hate bikes in New York predictably jumping on the incident. New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser’s notoriously overheated hyperbole went into overdrive as she railed against “terrorists on wheels” and “[a]ssassins in Spandex.” Death is an awful thing, especially when it was caused by an avoidable accident. However, this type of response is frankly terrifying. I'd like to give my perspective on this situation. First and foremost, the full facts of this incident have not been release. No one knows whether or not the cyclist or Tarlov made a mistake, there is no sense of placing blame on any particular party at this point. Secondly, pedestrians and cyclists are killed by motorist in the United States by the thousands. One case in particular sticks out to me. Earlier this year Milton Olin Jr., ex COO of Napster, was struck and killed while cycling legally in the bike lane. An on duty police officer hit him with is cruiser and killed him because the officer was distracted by sending text messages on his phone. This situation happens nearly weekly for cyclists and pedestrians, but when a cyclist is in the wrong everyone loves to hate them. I feel terrible for Tarlov and her family, that does not mean I should start hating every cyclist. A cyclist MAY have made a mistake, that is not a reason to take up arms against every cyclist.
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They analyzed the results of the CD scan and miraculously, no bones are broken. No vertebrae, that is. What she does have is swelling in her spinal cord, at the base of the neck. They are now doing an MRI and the neurosurgeons will determine then if she will need surgery to relieve the swelling in her spinal column. This swelling explains the extreme tingling pain in her hands. Thankfully, that's all they see wrong as of now, other than a few scrapes. The MRI will reveal any possible tissue damage. I am praying she will be okay. She's tough. She's a natural athlete with incredible resolve, but this was a bad accident. I had my GoPro mounted on my handlebars but was not recording at the time. I wish I had been, as that footage could have been of some help to the doctors. I was behind her when it happened. It all happened so quickly. I've seen a lot of crashes during crit races and road races and such, but never a head-OM collision. For those who pray, please remember my fiancee Deborah in your prayers. For those who do not, please keep her in your thoughts. She's new to this sport and while she loves it, I hope that in time she will be ready and able to ride again. If not, I'll certainly understand, especially after what she's been through. I thank you all for your kind words of support. This is part of why I like the cycling community so much. I'll keep you posted. We won't know any MRI results until morning. Again. thank you all.
I meant CT scan, not CD scan. Autocorrect strikes at the most inopportune moments sometimes.
@MarcNelson Oh no! Well, I am glad that the injuries are not as severe as they could have been. I wish Deborah the speediest and painless of recoveries. She is lucky that she has you there to support her, this does not sound like anything fun to go through by any means! I will be thinking of her and sending as many positive vibes her way as I can. Best wishes Deborah!!
I want to thank everyone for your kind words and wishes. An update on my fiancee Deborah: She has now seen the best neurosurgeon in town and he has put her on Neurontin and a steroid for the pain she is enduring. Miraculous, no bones were broken. She has swelling in her spinal cord at the base of the neck, which is giving her extreme pain in her hands. She is unable to use her hands at this time. Instead of just narcotics for the pain (which don't really relieve the pain), the Neurontin will take a few days to build up in her system and the steroid will help decrease the swelling in her spinal cord. They also discovered an arthritic condition in her vertebrae between C5 and C6, a degenerative disc. This has contributed to the severity of her pain. The good news is, she has no nerve damage, and is expected to recover fully to the condition she was in prior to the accident. She will be back on the bike in time. She is quite the trooper, and this little setback will not stop her. I love her and I am proud just to know her to begin with. Thank you again, everyone. She appreciates the kindness, and this is what we both love about the cycling community.
@MarcNelson Glad to hear that she's on her way back to 110%!