A well-loved member of the Zero community was seriously injured in a freak accident while riding his bike onto an off-ramp on Highway 1 at Rio Del Mar on Friday, June 28, 2019. The rider, who was on his Zero at the time, was effectively clotheslined by a downed power line and knocked off his bike into the northbound lanes of traffic. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, a tree located on Bonita Drive collapsed power lines between Freedom Boulevard and Rio Del Mar around 2:15pm.
Thankfully, the rider was reportedly fully geared up at the time. While he was very seriously injured, he is getting the medical care he needs and is expected to make a full recovery. The rider said that he saw the wire, but thought it was on the ground—not strung up in the air across the off-ramp. It’s difficult to see obstacles like that in ideal conditions, and it’s unclear what the local lighting conditions at the time were, or how they may have affected anyone’s ability to see that type of obstacle.
The wire reportedly hit him across the helmet, and while he was not electrocuted, he suffered serious injuries to his neck, throat, and face. From the extent of those injuries, it seems extremely likely that his helmet saved his life. He was uninjured on the rest of his body.
A Ford F-150 truck was also struck by the downed wires, but the driver was uninjured, California Highway Patrol officers told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The northbound lanes of Highway 1 were closed for some time after the accident to clear the scene, and for Pacific Gas and Electric to evaluate whether the power lines were live, the Register-Pajaronian reported.
No matter how skilled a rider you are, and even if you always wear all your gear and are constantly on the alert, there are some accidents that truly come out of nowhere. They’re rare, but they’re definitely not nonexistent. RideApart’s best wishes for a speedy and full recovery go out to this rider, his family, and his friends.