I woke up in the middle of the night last night. This isn’t unusual. It’s a bad habit that I’ve gotten into, and it explains why you will often see posts on Facebook or Twitter at two or three in the morning.
Last night, I started googling. I was looking for a name, and I found it and so much more.
On February 23rd, I was just leaving a client lunch and on my way back to the office. My phone rang, and it was Ben. Ben never calls me unless something is wrong and he needs to talk.
He had been out delivering parts for his job with a transmissions distributor. He works there part time for a family friend, on days when he is not in school. He is going through EMT training and will be going to through the fire academy in the fall.
As he was driving down Bell Road, a busy main street here in town, a guy flew past him on a motorcycle. The guy was going at least eighty. A couple of miles down the road, Ben came to a an intersection, just after the accident. A car had turned left in front of the cyclist, and he’d crashed directly into the passenger side. The car ended up facing the opposite direction it had been traveling, behind the light pole, in a ditch. The motorcycle and the rider had stopped right at the point of impact.
Ben pulled over and jumped out. He ran to the rider and put his hand on the guy’s shoulder, saying, “Buddy..hey, Buddy? Are you ok?”
He could see that the rider clearly wasn’t alright. The guy was curled up at an odd angle, with his chest flat to the ground, and his hips turned funny.
Ben carefully braced him, and rolled him over. He checked for vitals, as he’s been trained, and began CPR.
As other people came running up, they asked if Ben knew what he was doing. He said that he was CPR certified and training to be an EMT. He had one man get his keys from his pocket, to move his truck. Another person pulled out Ben’s phone to call 911, though they’d already been called. Ben kept up CPR until another man approached, and said that he was an ER tech. He offered to take over CPR, and Ben held C-Spine.
Emergency crews arrived and they got the driver loaded onto a gurney. As they were wheeling him to the ambulance, someone said, “We’ve still got a heartbeat…not much; but, it’s there.”
They were still doing CPR as they drove away.
It was later, when we were talking at home that Ben told me more.
The rider was young…Ben said he couldn’t have been more than early 20s. He was wearing protective gear, including a helmet; but, he must have hit the car face first, as the glass of the helmet had shattered and cut his face badly. His teeth had gone through his lower lip.
Everything…everything was broken. His arms and legs, his back, his pelvis, his neck…Ben said that when he was doing CPR, the kid’s chest was just mush and he could hear bones making noises.
Ben talked about looking into the rider’s eyes, and seeing them dim…he said it was surreal.
In his EMT class the following Monday, his teacher and the paramedic speaker/evaluator talked about how situations like this are actually pretty rare. A typical shift doesn’t include traumatic events like this one.
We saw on the news that night that the motorcyclist had not survived. There were pictures of the accident, showing the car in the ditch and the crumpled wreckage of the bike. Ben had to scrub and scrub to get the blood out from under his nails.
There were two other things that the rider had with him. Ben said that in the jacket, there was paperwork from Ride Now. Ride Now is a bike shop a couple of miles from the accident. The bike was brand new. On his helmet, a Go Pro was still running, recording everything.
With all of this, I kept thinking about the kid’s family. Somebody got a phone call, telling them that their kid wasn’t coming home. This has been stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks. I’ve gotten phone calls after accidents…thankfully, they have turned out very differently. Some mom wasn’t so lucky.
News stories about the accident hadn’t been updated with the rider’s name; but, in Google, it gave a name as a related search. It took me to Facebook, and a life began to emerge.
His name was Logan.
He was twenty years old, and he had a dad, a mom, and a sister who adored him. He had lots of friends and they all ride bikes, too. There was a celebration of life for Logan last weekend, at his dad’s house. On one of the walls in the house, there was a big picture of Logan. People wrote messages of love, attached other pictures, left flowers…the whole wall is now covered with tributes to a life cut short.
His dad shared text messages from Logan…sweet words between a father and a son.
They didn’t have a viewing, because Logan was just too broken.
It seems macabre, looking at all of this stuff in the middle of the night; but, the mom in me recognizes how lucky I am. My children are living, breathing, working, playing…I just needed to know.
His name was Logan.