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BMW K75 vs. Deer

by Tom Maszerowski

This is a good story about the things that go on when you are involved in an accident and why protective gear is so important on a motorcycle.

02 July 2002 Letchworth Park

Sunday the second of July 2002 was a day of mixed clouds and sunshine. The weather forecast pointed to rain by the Fourth and I decided that I had to ride that day or face days of wishing that I had. I decided then to ride my BMW K75s south.

Since I had no fixed destination in mind, I was free to wander. I headed towards Mt. Morris for no other reason other than it was relatively well known and a likely place to have a 7-11 or other convenience store. I ended up stopping at a convenience store, though it was not a chain, for some Combos (cheese-filled pretzels) and a Diet Dr. Pepper. I chatted with the guy behind the counter and he recommended that I visit Letchworth Park, a NY State park often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” It is built around a gorge formed by the Genesee river (which flows through the city of Rochester into Lake Ontario) and is a popular tourist destination.

Taking the convenience store guy’s advice, I rode to the Mt. Morris entrance of Letchworth. When I got there, I noticed a sign indicating that it would cost me $5 to enter the park. Being basically frugal, I at first thought it was more money than I wanted to spend simply to ride through the park. So instead I sat down and ate my Combos and drank my Diet Dr. Pepper. There were places to sit along with bid houses for the wild birds and I took advantage of both. But eventually I decided that five bucks wasn’t unreasonable for a ride through the park, especially given the increasing cloud cover slowly obscuring the sky. And so I made the decision to enter the park.

After paying my entrance fee, there was little else to do but ride the well-paved road through the park. I rolled slowly forward, stopped and stuck the receipt into my tank bag and pulled onto the main road. It was about 4 in the afternoon and there was plenty of sunlight left.

While the park road is probably not on any motorcyclist’s list of great roads, it does offer some great scenery and I was enjoying it as best as someone on a motorcycle can. In fact, I was running about five miles per hour under the posted speed limit. I wasn’t doing it on purpose, but it seemed the right speed.

I was headed for a place in the park called Devil’s Bathtub, which offered a good view of the gorge as well as a large parking lot. I didn’t originally have a stopping point in mind, but it seemed as good as any. After all, I had no specific destination in mind.

It didn’t take long before I had a bunch of cars behind me; most likely becoming impatient with the slow-moving motorcycle in front of them. But I didn’t care, I was so into the moment. I should have known better.

It was a relatively straight section of road, with traffic coming towards me, that my life took a dramatic turn. Without warning, out from the left side of the road, came a deer. I can remember seeing the cars in the oncoming lane and most of all the eye of the deer. That eye seemed so large, it was so apparent that this was a wild animal, far beyond it’s instinctive mode of behavior. And then, despite me thinking this cannot be happening, I hit that animal with a sound of plastic shattering into a million pieces.

What immediately followed that has been lost to me. I absolutely no recollection and attempts to recall have been fruitless. Perhaps this is just as well, but I still regret the emptiness. In any case, the next thing I recall is being on my back on the pavement, looking up at the sky. My first thought was “I am alive!” My second thought, or perhaps realization, was that I was seriously injured. I somehow knew this without feeling anything in particular was wrong; just a general feeling of bad.

I was able to look up the road and see my BMW was about 30 feet ahead of me, having slid on it’s left side and come to a rest still in the driving lane. A quick glance down by left leg showed that I had also slid on my left side and worn a large hole in the left knee of my jeans. In fact, all of my left side was beginning to hurt, though the pain, as before, was not particularly localized in any way.

I wasn’t laying there long before someone came up to look at me and see how I was doing. As luck would have it, one of the cars that had been in the group behind me contained a husband and wife who were both EMT’s. I had the added advantage of them also being trained on how to handle motorcyclist injuries, which require some special care. They examined me and after I was able to move all my limbs they gently worked my helmet off to make me more comfortable. Someone, I can’t remember who, did me a great favor by blocking the sun from my face. Someone else called 911 on their cell phone, though it wasn’t easy getting a signal in the area we were in. I recall offering mine, and I can’t remember if mine was used or not.

When the [fill this in] ambulance got to me (I was midway on the park road and it took a while to reach me) the EMT’s who were with me turned my care over to the arriving crew. Since I did not seem in immediate danger of dying, they repeated the evaluation but in a more detailed fashion. This required the removal of my leather jacket and the cutting of my pants to the knee on the left side. It was clear now that my left shoulder was injured and because I could not move my arm very well, the EMT’s cut my jacket into pieces to remove it. It had been custom-made for me in 1983 or so and fit like a glove but it was in the way and that was that. This gave the EMT’s easy access to all the injured areas.

Once the examination was complete and they had an idea of the extent of my injuries, I was carefully slid onto a back board and prepared for the ride in the ambulance. It was about this time that the NY State Park Police found the still-alive deer somewhere near me and put it out of it’s misery. I never saw the officer or the deer, but I remember it took two shots. Someone immediately offered to take the carcass, seeing as how I was not in a position to do so. I never saw who, it was just a voice in the crowd. I was fully awake and making jokes though I felt incredibly bad. I think I gave the police my id, or told them my information, I can’t exactly recall which, because they told me that they would notify my wife (more about this later). I was loaded into the back of the ambulance and off we went to the local hospital.

The ride was fairly long, because of where I was, but not too uncomfortable. The EMT with me kept up a steady conversation (they do that to make sure you haven’t gone unconscious) and I think we talked about volunteer fire departments and such. There wasn’t much else for her to do except periodically check my heart rate and blood pressure, so I’m sure it helped keep her from getting too bored.

They took me to Warsaw Hospital, a small regional hospital that specializes in what is called “treat and release”. Patients requiring more extensive treatment or overnight stays are sent to larger hospitals in either Buffalo or Rochester. I was obviously supposed to be one of these, or they might have taken me somewhere else. In retrospect, I almost wish they had.

Things are a little hazy in my memory but I will try to relate as much as I can remember, even if the sequencing is a little off. One of the reasons for this is that I was given morphine, rather early on, and it dulled both the pain (which had started to make itself known) and my mind. I was taken for X-rays, from which they determined that I had shattered my left clavicle (collar bone) and broken some ribs. I was returned to the treatment room, and here’s where things become strange.

As I noted above, the Park Police had said they would alert my family. They indeed called my house, but there was no one home and they left a message on the answering machine telling it was the NY State Police calling and that I had been in a motorcycle accident, no other details or a call back number. When Mary Ann came home, she played the message and immediately called the NY State Police. They, of course, had no knowledge of any accident, but since it was in a state park, perhaps she should call the park police (there’s a pecking order going on here, the park police consider themselves state police, the state police, obviously, consider themselves above the park police). Mary Ann then was able to get from the park police that I was alive and that I was in Warsaw hospital. She called her father, and he came along with her and Liz (Alanna was at summer camp). They drove down to Warsaw and met me in the treatment room.

I probably looked as bad as I felt. The morphine dulls the pain, but doesn’t eliminate it nor does it do much for broken bones. They were happy to see me, though very concerned. I know there were some discussions about what to do with me, and it was somehow decided that I would be released for Mary Ann to take me home. I think I may have had my arm in a sling by then and I may also have had a brace around the shoulder. In any case, step one for release is to have the patient stand up. I had been flat on my back for hours now and when I stood up, I almost immediately became dizzy and nearly fainted. Mary Ann said I turned white. My blood pressure was too low to keep the blood flow to my brain going. Since this is a typical reaction to trauma, they laid me back down and gave me a liter of intravenous saline solution intended to build up my blood volume and consequently my blood pressure. When that was complete, they tried standing me up again. Same result. This time, they not only gave me another liter of saline, but began to worry that I was bleeding internally.

I was given a large glass of some awful liquid mixed with ginger ale and whisked away for a CAT scan. They were looking for damage in my abdominal area and the liquid allows some of the soft tissues to be visible on the scan. Luckily, it showed that I was not bleeding but it still didn’t make any difference as far as my reaction to standing up. Mary Ann argued, successfully, that since it was not a guarantee I wouldn’t faint in the car on the long ride back, I needed to either stay overnight, or be taken somewhere else. They reluctantly agreed, and then the problem of where and how had to be solved.

Warsaw is closer to Buffalo than Rochester, and they had a radio link to Buffalo General Hospital, where a trauma surgeon had been advising them on my treatment. Mary Ann didn’t want me to go to Buffalo (a 90 minute drive from home) so that meant going to Strong Memorial, the main Rochester trauma center. Ordinarily, this would mean a helicopter flight, courtesy of Mercy Flight, but there was a Batavia ambulance there that had just dropped someone off. They agreed to take me and Mary Ann to Strong and my father-in-law was free to take Liz home and watch her while no one else was home.

The ambulance ride was longer than it should have been because the driver didn’t know how to get to Strong directly from Warsaw, and ended up going almost all the way back to Batavia and coming in from the West. I think it was around 9:00 PM or so, it was dark and had started to rain, just as forecast. Round two of initial treatment was beginning.

My initial treatment at Strong wasn’t much different than at Warsaw, though they weren’t as dedicated to getting me to leave. I was given another liter of saline and more morphine. I was glad for the morphine, and I didn’t feel a thing when one of the ER folks decided to scrub my left knee. I had been wearing relatively new black jeans and the dye had become embedded in the skin thanks to the slide. He must have thought it was pavement, and tried to scrub it out. Mary Ann, a former EMT and fairly used to such things, couldn’t bear to watch.

After that, it was more X-rays, because the faxed ones from Warsaw were “unreadable”. And after that it was more waiting. We did a lot of waiting and were left alone for hours. Strong is a busy place and I was not in any immediate danger so I wasn’t up there on their list of priorities. I was glad Mary Ann was there, especially when nature took it’s course (I had 3 liters of saline in my bloodstream at that point) and I needed to go. At least I didn’t have to use a bed pan. We eventually got moved out of the ED into a smaller treatment area and since there was nothing else to do, we slept.

03 July 2000 Strong Memorial Hospital

Sometime in the night, or possibly the morning, Mary Ann had gotten a ride home to get her car, change and bring me some clothes to wear (mine were all cut up). She had these in a bag next to her as she slept in the straight-backed chair they provide for visitors. At some point in the morning, she awoke to discover someone going through the bag. She was startled and she startled the man with his hands in the bag. Luckily, security came upon him and took him away. It seems they were in the process of throwing him out when he simply wandered away to go “shopping” among the ED patients.

Eventually, we managed to get a doctor to actually come over and talk with us. He decided that I didn’t need the brace, as it wasn’t helping any and that all I needed was a sling. They also assured me that I would be able to make the flight to England I had that week for business. I was given a supply of Vicodin (a narcotic pain reliever) and sent home.

Moving around, especially getting up from a sitting position proved to be very difficult. Since there was literally no connection between the bone ends of my left collarbone, my left side would not move with the rest of my body. The Vicodin did a lot to minimize the pain but didn’t eliminate it and couldn’t do a thing to keep things “together”. It was almost impossible to sleep, not only could I not get comfortable, I couldn’t move without help. My ribs, which were tolerable when I was vertical, hurt quite a bit when I was laying down. I was sleeping on Alanna’s bed, since she was still in summer camp. We didn’t think I could handle the waterbed, given that I had so much trouble even with a regular bed.

Unknown to me, Mary Ann had called our family doctor, Dr. Daniel Hovey, and begged him, in tears, to look at me and do something. He agreed, but given the July 4th holiday, my appointment was set for the Thursday the 6th.

04 July 2000 Home

Mary Ann and Liz went to watch the fireworks at the High School while I stayed home. Not only did I not care, but I don’t think I was physically capable of sitting on the ground and then getting back up.

It was either this day, or the following day, that Mary Ann went over to her dad’s house and borrowed his reclining chair so that might be able to sleep without having to lie down flat and aggravate my ribs. This chair would end up being my bed for weeks. I could recline it to get my legs up without having to lay my torso flat. It made all the difference in my sleeping.

06 July 2000 Dr. Hovey’s Office

To Dr. Hovey’s credit, he could tell immediately that I was far more injured than Strong ED seemed to think and made an appointment for a visit to the orthopedic surgeon, a Dr. Peter Capicotto. Dr. Capicotto had an office in the building adjacent to Genesee Hospital (which closed in 2001) and could admit me if needed without having me travel. It was the beginning of my luck finally improving.

07 July 2000 Dr. Capicotto’s Office and Genesee Hospital

We had an early morning appointment, and I was seen by a Orthopædic PA (Physician’s Assistant) who’s eyes widened when he examined me. He called for Dr. Capicotto to also examine me, but was positive that I required surgery although he could not schedule it himself. Dr. Capicotto agreed with the need for the surgery and I went from his office right into admitting.

For background, it’s important to know that casts or surgery are not the usual treatments for clavicle injuries. At least in the case of simple fractures. The common approach is to wait a while, to see if the bones fuse, before doing anything more invasive. Consequently, most people take months to heal, if they heal at all. The ones that do not heal, eventually get surgery, but it’s after months of pain. Two neighbors both went through this, both ended up with large lumps where the bones fused and one ended up addicted to the Vicodin.

Luck was on my side, at least this time. Dr. Capicotto has done medical research showing the improvement in healing time and appearance when surgery is done right away. Not only was my collarbone broken, it was shattered, and highly unlikely to ever fuse on it’s own. I was on my way to healing.

Once admitted, I was prepped for surgery. The surgery consisted of an incision along the line of the collarbone on my chest, where they worked on reassembling the pieces. Dr. Capicotto warned me that they might have to take a bone graft out of my hip if they couldn’t use the harvested-from-cadaver bone graft material they usually use. Once they assembled the collarbone, a pin would be inserted from my back, to hold everything together while it healed. When I woke up in the recovery room, I could tell immediately that there were no incisions in my hips, which was a welcome surprise.

Once back in my room, I was hooked up to an interesting machine that provides you with morphine when you press a button. The intention is that the patient decides how much and how often the pain reliever gets administered. The catch is that it’s designed to prevent overdose so it makes the same sounds when the button is pushed, whether it actually gives you a dose or not. In effect, it uses a clever psychological ploy that works for most people who are not in horrific pain. Except, of course, when it doesn’t work. As it would happen, mine broke sometime in the night. On top of being awakened regularly for vital sign checks, I had to endure having some technicians come in and trying to fix the morphine dispenser. Ultimately, they failed, but I managed.

Despite the lack of sleep, I felt much better now that I was in one piece, and I got my needed rest when I got home. Mary Ann had to go to the Adirondacks the next morning to pick up Alanna from camp, so she set up some “baby-sitting”, our friends Steve and Gretchen Morith. Alanna was not aware of what happened, so it would be an unpleasant surprise for her.

08 July 2000 Home

I felt so much better that I was able to get up with Mary Ann and Liz and was wide awake when Steve and Gretch came over to check on me. I was even able to make some coffee and I think they were surprised at how well I was doing. I wanted to make as good an impression as I could, not only on Steve and Gretch, but on Alanna when she came home.

She was understandably upset when she came in the door, but I think she was buoyed by my condition and attitude. It wasn’t really putting on a brave face, I really did feel better, I’m not sure I could have faked it at that point anyway.

19 July 2000

I had had my BMW trailered over to my local dealer and I finally was able to get over there (I was driving, although perhaps I shouldn’t have been). The estimate was for over $3200 in parts and what not to bring it back to the condition it was in before the crash. I wanted to continue riding, but the K75s held too much of an association with the accident and I sold it for $1500 cash to one of the dealer’s employees. He would restore it, but not to original condition so between that and a better cost for parts, he would come out ahead. I took some Polaroid pictures and said goodbye.

01 August 2000

My first day back to work was exhausting. I was amazed at how little stamina I had and I barely managed half a day. But it was important to me to be there, and despite not being very effective, I was back.

06 August 2000

While I was home recuperating, I received an post card in the mail, apparently in response to the Letter To The Editor I wrote in the local newspaper. Here it is in it's entirety:

It is fortunate you received the care your letter-to-the-editor outlines. I trust you continue to heal.

Isn't it sad, sir, that the deer cannot also receive the Mercy allotted you. I don't suppose he/she lived to tell the experience to his/her family in their natural habitat? I sympathize with you both.

The front of the card had a sticker of Bambi and Thumper from the Walt Disney movie, with the following above it:

Merciful immunocontraception for our wildlife.

My letter had only my name and town of residence but a simple look in the phone book would had sufficed to get my address.

08 August 2000

This was the day I received the Aerostich Roadcrafter 2-piece motorcycle suit I had ordered back in early May. This is the suit that, had I been wearing it, would likely have prevented some or most of the injuries I sustained (it wouldn't have done a damn thing for the K75s or the deer, for that matter). I expected to never ride again without wearing it.

The other, less ironic, thing that happened that day was I had an appointment with my orthopedic Dr. and he had me take off the sling on my arm. In addition, he gave me a number of exercises to do to increase the strength and range of motion of my shoulder. The X-Ray's showed evidence of bone growth in the gaps though I still had a way to go. The next checkup was scheduled for 3 weeks hence, he was planning to make the call on when to remove the pin then. The pin was actually screwed in to the bones, it is removed simply by unscrewing it. You have to have significant bone growth before it can be removed because the pin isn't straight, and will flex on removal!

Here's an odd and troubling aspect of my accident: my hair was falling out. Not in big clumps, mind you, but noticeable nonetheless. I'm in no way in love with my appearance, but I've always had a full head of thick hair, so this was not something I was used to seeing. It was a likely result of all the trauma and the narcotics, and it eventually stopped.

22 August 2000

I had been having pains in my shoulder, not surprising after all, but these seemed worse than before. It turned out that the end of the threaded rod in my collarbone had poked it’s way out of the skin on my back and I was bleeding slightly into my shirt. This made the decision on when to remove the pin simple, that Friday was the day.

That evening I got a call from my sister-in-law, telling me that my father (age 78) was in the hospital. Seems he fell off the roof while working to remove an old TV antenna. He was still in the hospital, with multiple injuries, including a potentially fractured vertebrae, but his spirits are high. He had been airlifted to a trauma center in Allentown, PA and was in ICU. It turned out to just bumps and bruises, though it took a few days to be sure. I was getting ready to fly down to be with him, which given my condition, would have required me to bring all my records and X-rays with me in case my shoulder became infected.

25 August 2000

The pin was removed today with no problems whatsoever. The anesthesiologist gave me a nerve block with caused my entire shoulder to just disappear, at least as far as I could feel. Then my doctor just unscrewed it. The pin itself was a stainless steel threaded rod without a head on it. In fact, it looked like something you'd buy in a hardware store, not some sort of high tech medical gadget. A couple of quick sutures and I was done. I had to be careful for a while, since the bone was not fully healed, but otherwise, not having the pin poking me when I move was rather nice. Because I didn’t get general anesthesia, we were able to go out for dinner at Mex, a nuevo Mexican restaurant just down the street. It was a fine meal, for many reasons, but perhaps mostly because it marked an end and a beginning. Injury time was over, recovery time now officially begins.

My dad was able to come home and was recovering. The suspect vertebrae was due to his advanced arthritis, not a fracture, so they released him. He was all bruised and cut up but that was better than what could have been.

It’s funny how both my father and I were lucky while being unlucky. Things could have been worse for the both of us, but it wasn’t. He had had a number of close calls in the Navy in W.W.II, but this was the first time for me.

Important for me, now that I had the pin out, was beginning Physical Therapy. In my case, the issue was not moving my arm for all that time and the therapy consisted mostly of moving my arm to further increase the range of motion. It was surprisingly painful, considering how good my arm felt when it wasn’t moving. My therapist was a fellow motorcyclist and guitarist and our conversations helped take my mind off the pain a bit. I progressed rapidly and soon was left to finish my recovery on my own.

September 2000 and Beyond

The months after ending PT weren’t anything exceptional. Other than a bit of pain when reaching above my head, my life became fairly normal again. Eventually, I started taking Tai Chi classes at the local YMCA. I was stiffer overall than I realized and the fairly gentle bending and movements were just what I needed. The class was mostly women and most of them were past retirement age so I stood out in more ways than just height. I did Tai Chi for a little over a year. Even though Tai Chi looks like fairly gentle movement, it can be strenuous if you keep moving. In fact, one more than one occasion, new students would come in once and then never return.

Eventually, though, I started getting the feeling that I wanted more vigorous exercise, so I enrolled in the same Karate school (Isshin Ryu style) my daughter Liz attends. And that brings me pretty much to the present, and the end of the history portion of this tale.

What’s Changed

It would be difficult to go through all that I did and not have it change me in some way. And that is definitely the case. I’m going to try a lay out what those changes are for me, please be patient as this is difficult, on a number of levels.

First things first. There is no way you endure the kind of injuries that I did without having some lasting physical effects. In the months immediately following the accident, I truly felt at least ten years older. For a while, my hair was falling out, I’d wake up with a bunch of it on my pillow. My energy level was so low, I couldn’t get through a day without laying day for naps. But all that dissipated over time. I still have some minor pain in the area of the break, probably due to the muscles sliding over a rough spot on the bone. Between my collarbone and my ribs, I always know when it’s going to rain.

Yet, despite all that, I’m feeling pretty good. Taking Tai Chi and then Karate was truly the right thing to do. I can bend over and touch my palms to the floor, which isn’t bad for a 45-year-old man. I still have a lot of strength and flexibility to recover but I’m on the right track. It’s somewhat ironic that it took the accident to get me back in a fitness program, but that’s what happened. I don’t feel older anymore, if anything, I feel younger.

Now onto the mental effects. This is difficult to write about and perhaps I will regret this being in the public arena, but we’ll see. Please be understanding and open-minded when you read the next paragraphs.

A couple of weeks after I was home, we were watching Third Watch, the cops/firefighters/medics show on television when I started feeling funny (I can’t describe it better, bare with me here). It scared me and I started to hyperventilate (though I didn’t realize it as such at the time) which convinced me I was dying. Now Mary Ann was scared too, and she called the ambulance. Our neighbors and my friend Steve (yet another instance where he been there for us) came over as well, but there was nothing much they could do. Luckily, the ambulance crew recognized it for what it was. They took me to the hospital but all I really needed was the old “breathing into a paper bag” trick to overcome the effects of the hyperventilation. I spent the entire time in the ED on a cart working on controlling my breathing.

The skills in breath control have come in handy, as I’ve experienced the panic attacks now and again ever since. I still can’t point to a specific thing that triggers them so I’m stuck with dealing with symptoms rather than the root cause. But when I think of those who need medication or more to deal with panic attacks, I’m content.

Finally, there is a spiritual element to all of this that cannot be ignored. If you don’t believe in such things, feel free to skip this section.

Some background is in order. I grew up Roman Catholic and had 12 years of Catholic education. But I stopped attending church when I got to college and have never regularly attended since. But I never stopped believing in God or in an afterlife, and tried to live according to the principles that I was raised with. Then the accident happened.

The moments between when I hit the deer and when I realized I wasn’t dead are a complete blank. Nothing. You hear about Near Death Experiences, where people see a white light or meet deceased relatives. Not me, I saw nothing. And it made me question my beliefs to the point where agnostic is probably the best description you could apply to me. When you think about it, there’s nothing worse than someone who kinda, sorta doesn’t believe. The truth is, though, I don’t know what to make of all of this, and my past is the only thing that keeps me from being an atheist.

On top of that, I was brutally confronted with the realization that someday I would die. It’s something that you don’t seem to take very seriously when you’re young. It probably comes to most people gradually, over time, I just wasn’t so lucky. Death is frightening enough on it’s own, but contemplating it without the hope of existence afterwards, is doubly so. I am just not ready to accept the idea that the being I am will simply end. Yes, I realize this is incredibly selfish and inwardly focused. Considering the subject, how could it be otherwise?

The Last Paragraph

Thanks for reading this far. I hope that this rather lengthy essay has told you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about me. It was difficult to write at times, but now that I’ve done it, I won’t have to do it again. Peace.
[I have to stop now]

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  Comments

I ride an 88 K75S, and I live in rural Missouri where I see deer pretty much daily. Luckily, they're generally calm around here. They must be used to cars and stuff or something. I did hear a story one time, though, about a dude on a Yamaha V-Max who hit a deer while being chased by the cops and he DIDN'T wreck - but then again, it was just a story. Still, all the more reason to be careful and to hunt more when the season comes. :)
- Justin B.

On November 18, 2005 on the West Coast I hit a deer while riding home on my Vespa ET4. The doe died after my motor scooter slide 50 feet with her. I remember the impact but noting else until the Ambulance came. I am forunate that only only broke my left elbow, left wrist, needed stitches (10) in my lip and then lots of bruises. My leather was shredded and my helmet did it\'s job. It could have been much worse. I was only going 25 on a straight piece of road but it was night. Amazingly my scooter is only scratched up but the insurance company still hasn't looked it over yet.

Thanks for sharing your story. I have much healing to be done and hope that I will be mended soon and back on my Vespa. You can bet that I will be wearing protective gear!
- Laura

Thanks for sharing. Three nights ago, I hit a deer on my V Star 650. I was doing 50 mph when I struck the buck broadside. I hit the deck, skid across the road.

When I stopped skidding, I had the same moment of clarity, where i knew I was alive. Luckily for me, though, another second and I realized that I wasn\'t hurt seriously. Within seconds I was on my feet and walking around. I fractured my left wrist plus a little road rash on my left hip and arm.

Very strange how very similar accidents had very different outcomes. Thank God, though, we both lived to tell our tales.
- Robbie

I rode that area when on family vacations at Letchworth park camping, for 5 summers. I use to bring my bike and ride all over. I am 45 years old and still ride some, mostly up in the Adirondaks. I am becoming a little concerned or fearful of a deer collison on the bike, more so then a problem with cars. I really enjoy riding, but with the responsibility of the family and such, I think more about the risks of riding. I always try to ride with protective jacket, pants and gloves. I pretty much know the exact area of the accident you were involved in and recall always seeing many deer.
- Bob S.


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