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"Hang on, Judy, there almost here." She squeezes my hand in acknowledgment and clamps her jaws to keep her teeth from chattering as she lay in the 45 degree water. The siren gets louder as the ambulance screeches to a halt on the bridge above us.

25 minutes earlier

We round another curve on the snakelike Hwy 39 west of Kerrville and are greeted with another beautiful display of fall colors by the Guadalupe River in the Texas hill country. We had ridden up to San Antonio Saturday with a large group on the annual "Honor Ride" to benefit the wounded veterans at Brooke Army hospital. We had made the same ride last year and enjoyed the area so much that this year I had taken Monday off so that we could spend Sunday just riding in what has been called the best motorcycle riding area in the state. We almost had to cancel our plans Saturday night when the fuel pump started leaking. We called our family back in the Houston area to let them know we would be heading back in the morning so they could stick close to home in case we needed them to bring the trailer and rescue us from the roadside if the pump failed on the home.

Then Sunday morning I had an inspiration. "Theres no place to get a pump for the bike here on Sunday but what about one for a small car?" Judy used to own a mechanics shop with her ex and thought the idea had merit so off to the parts store we went. 3 stops later we had a pump for an '84 Civic in hand. It was not a perfect match but after a little impromptu surgery in the shady side of the auto parts store, I turned the key, said a little prayer and pressed the starter button. Success!.We grinned at each other, packed up the tools and headed out.

The weather was perfect and the scenery was stunning, especially to someone used to the flat terrain and straight as a board roads of Houston. I forced myself to pay attention to the road in front of me and not be too distracted by the view. So far the curves had been gentle and sweeping and as I entered another one I think I let myself become a little overconfident. As I looked ahead I realized the road turned a lot more sharply than the previous curves. I let off the throttle and put more lean into it but it was too late- we weren't going to make it.

Training fought instinct. Instinct said "Lay it down!" and training screamed "NO!" Training won and I stood the bike up, applied as much rear brake as I could without locking it up and steeled myself to ride it out as far as I could. Judy tightened her grip on me but did nothing to interfere with my driving. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as we left the road. There were steel poles with arrows affixed to them indicating the curve just off the pavement and we headed for one dead center. SNAP! The pole seemed to explode away from the bike and flew out in front of us. The impact snapped the windshield in half but the little add on wings on the side kept it from flying back into my face. We started down the slanted cement side to where it met up with the bedrock which lays exposed in much of this area of the state. The river was about 30 feet ahead and we were going in.The river bed is rock and there was only about 5 inches of water covering it. We came to the 2 foot drop off into the river and launched out into the water. I heard Judy yell out something. WHAM! The impact threw us forward and to the right. I landed on my right shoulder and momentum carried me over onto my back.Time seemed to snap back to normal and I lay there stunned for a second.

"Where's Judy?" The thought forced me to sit up and I groaned loudly as I did. "Randy? Are you up?" The voice came from my left and turned that way. She lay on her back, feet pointed toward the bike, her left leg cocked under her right. She wasn't moving but she was talking. I took quick stock of my condition, road rash on my shoulder, pain in my right knee but nothing seemed to be broken and I got to my feet and made my way to her. She was complaining of her neck hurting and as a former paramedic she knew better than to force the issue. She lay perfectly still in the water as I gingerly lifted the front of her modular helmet. "Do you feel pain anywhere else?" I asked. "My right wrist feels broken. Cut the sleeve away and see if the bone is exposed." I used my pocket knife to cut the sleeve away. There was no bone sticking out, but there was a pretty deep gash about an inch long on the top of her forearm which oddly to my mind was not bleeding. "No bones showing, but you've got a deep cut." She grimaced in pain. "It feels like bones rubbing together."

By now we had people stopping to help. One of them had OnStar in her truck and used it to call for help and to call our family. The ambulance crew arrived and a medical chopper was right behind them. State troopers and the local volunteer fire dept. blocked the road while the paramedics strapped her to a backboard. Several of the men there jumped in the creek to help us carry her out and up to the road to the ambulance. They loaded her in and stabilized her then drove her over to the field where the copter had set down for transport to San Antonio. I couldn't go with her of course and the paramedics wanted to take me to get checked out, but that would have meant a different hospital and I knew that could well mean it would be the next day before I made it to where she was so I refused. The wrecker driver took me back to our motel where my son-in-laws parents who live in the area met me and took me to the hospital in San Antonio.( I'm greatly simplifying things here, the accident happened about 3:45, I didn't get to the hospital until almost 10:00 p.m.)

As I entered the small room in the ER there was a doctor sitting beside her bed with a small tray of surgical tools digging in her right arm. Turned out the cut had been made by a clam shell which had embedded itself in there! She had on a cervical collar, but there was nothing broken and would be no permanent injuries. After the doctor left I watched her laying there for a moment and reached out and brushed her hair back from her face. I almost lost it right there as I realized how close I had come to killing the woman I loved. Tears filled my eyes and I said softly "I'm sorry." She grabbed my hand with her left. "Don't. This was an accident. It was not your fault. I told you when we got the bike that if something happened to us on it then it was just meant to be. Did you hear what I said as we were in the middle of all that?" I shook my head. "No. I heard you yell but I couldn't make it out." She smiled. "I said what I told you I would say if it ever looked bad for us. I said I love you, Randy. And that hasn't changed."

They discharged her at 2:30 that morning and her daughters who had driven up from Houston took us to the house we would be using for the night. After a hot shower I crawled into bed beside her trying not to jostle her too much and her hand found mine in the dark. And as I finally succumbed to exhaustion I knew - we would be alright. We would ride again- together. I gently squeezed her hand and whispered, "I love you too."


Pics here- http://tinyurl.com/5zq4ux
 

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I hate to hear that you've wrecked, but I am so glad to hear that you will be okay. I'm sure that with the feelings that you show for each other, in the end you both will be okay.

Prayers for your healing and those of thanks too going out to ya.

Earl.
 

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Prayers comming from Alabama to you and your Love!!!!!!!!!



:angel2::angel2::angel2:
 

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Sorry to hear about your luck Chief.

HopeJudy heals soon and that you wern't too badly bruised.

Glad it wasn't worse.
 

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Glad to hear there's no permanant injuries. Bikes can be replaced, people can't.
 

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Randy, as sad as it is to hear that someone went down, it makes me happy to hear that neither you nor Judy was seriously hurt. THAT'S what matters most.

As good a reason as any to upgrade to a 1500, eh?
 

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I'll be glad to see you posting when both of you are riding again. Prayers winging your way for a speedy recovery for you both.

Can't really tell from the pics but did it take the oil filter off? Looks like it did, and of course a lot of other stuff too.
 

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:waving:Hi Chief and Miss Judy: I am glad that you were not hurt any worse than you were. Sorry about the bike too. You know I noticed in your letter you talked about how time slows down, I have tried to explain that to people sometimes, I suppose they never know till it happens to them. Seems like a long time huh??

Take Care and get well. Kit
 

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Having been in a serious "off" earlier, I know how you feel and both my wife and I wish both a speedy and painless recovery........
 

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Your bride is a champ! Godspeed in healing up.Your guardian Angel earned her wings that day. Rest up you two, jimsjinx
 

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My better half and I will be praying for you. I hope that you are able to find another bike and get back on the road. Judy sounds like a great woman. Many would be blaming you for going down. Hope you both get better soon.
 

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Randy , I am happy to hear Judy and yourself are going to be OK . I am sure it may not feel that way just yet . I hope the pains are not great . I am sure you will continue to wonder ,what ifs in your mind . I pray for both of you to have physical healing and for the ability to control the demon in your mind that may be causing you to second guess yourself.It sounds from your description you are blessed with agreat woman who loves you . With that as a base you can be strong. May you both put the demon back into a box and move on . Also thankyou for sharing thiswhereas we might all learn to take a moment andadd some extra caution in our rides of new/unkown areas.
 

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Randy,

I'm so sorry to hear of your incident there but know fully well of how you feel.

Your wrote a real tear jerker of a story there, but that in itself means that you are mostly "okay" at least physically.

Sending you lots of prayer help from here, but it seems that those Angels that took care of me were there with you.

Heal up soon and pass on the good words to Judy.

Will be riding with you guys one of these days.

John and Mardonna
 

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Randy,

Thanks for sharing your story and your feelings with us. It brought a tear to my eye as I read it. You have a great woman there!! My prayers for both of you for a speedy recovery and for a quick repair/replacement of your Wing.

John
 

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Hey Chief,



Sorry for your mishap and hope you're back up and riding soon. I noticed in your story that you had modular helmets. Good for you, it probably saved your lives. A testament to why I make my family wear full face helmets even if it's just down the road to the store for gas.

 

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Randy, sorry to hear about your misfortune but really glad you both made it through ok. Like was said earlier, real good time for an upgrade & to make the current one into a nekkid wing.
 

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Wishing the two of you a full and speedy recovery both physically and mentally. It can be tough at times but it sounds like the two of you will help each other get through this just fine.I totaled my new to me(1 week)84 GL1200 June 1st and the Doc.s are still putting me back together but I'm much better. I plan to spendThanksgiving week camping in Kerrville and riding my new to me 85 GL1200 in the area. I've heard the area roads can bite you quickly. Your post here just embedded the need to be careful in my mind. Be sure and keep us up to date on how you two are doing.
 
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