Looking Twice May Save A Life: Callie’s Story

Looking Twice May Save A Life: Callie’s Story

[Warning: This article contains graphic images some readers may find disturbing.]

In 2009, 90,000 motorcyclists were injured while riding; close to 4,500 fatally according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Our very own personal lines specialist, Callie, was one of the injured.

Here is her story.

September 3, 2009
It was a beautiful Fall morning. Sunny crisp air, sun was shining. A perfect Duluth fall day. On my way to class, I was driving on I-35 at the Grand Avenue exit when my motorcycle was rear ended.

 

A hit and run accident – the driver fled the scene as I was thrown into the guard rail.

 

My injuries were severe. My left cheek hit the guard rail, shattering the face mask on my helmet and tore open my chin on the helmet strap. Plastic surgery was required to repair the injury. The impact broke my neck, paralyzing me from the chest up for 12 days. I gloved my right arm from the elbow to mid forearm above my wrist.  Stretched/tore my brachial plexus (webbing of nerves that runs from your spinal cord out to all of your muscles) severely on the right and moderately on the left and tore my right C6 nerve from the spine (that nerve controls your biceps so I have no biceps on my right arm).

 

It was a 5.5 hour reconstructive surgery that day to get as much back as the doctors could. I was hospitalized for 18 days.

 

Since the accident I have had two other major surgeries at the Mayo in Rochester that consisted of a nerve transplant from my elbow or ulnar nerve (funny bone) to my brachial radialis (a small muscle in the forearm that can help with flexion) that now acts as by bicep. And a tendon transfer in my forearm to help with being able to open and close my right hand and fingers.

 

A hit and run accident. The other driver, inattentive, took the exit too fast and realized I was in front of them too late, colliding with my back tire. They never stopped.

Callie is lucky to be alive.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month; we urge you to be aware of other drivers. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has issued the following safe driving tips for motorists:

  • Watch aggressively for motorcycles
  • Look twice when turning left. Most crashes between vehicles and motorcycles involve turning left at an intersection.
  • Always check your blindspot. Motorcycles can easily hide in traffic.
  • Be aware of the weather: wet roads and sun glares can make a motorcycle invisible.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Give large space cushion between yourself and a motorcyclist, a minimum of three-seconds.
  • Stay focused on driving.

[Warning: The photos below contain graphic images some readers may find disturbing.]

 

 

Looking twice may save a life. Are you aware of your surroundings while driving?

 

 

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