The river was up today, and the road leading down to the Clark Bridge by Alton was covered with river water and closed to traffic. I'd driven out there this afternoon to see how high the water was. I parked by the barricade and decided to walk down to the bridge even this involved wading through some flooding. It was a warm day and I was wearing shorts and no socks, so that made it easy. Above is view underneath the bridge, showing the supports leading up to the central span. Normally they would be much further out of the water. To the side is what I waded through to get there!
Walking back, I stopped to chat with a fisherman. We both heard the sound of a motorcycle on the road that you can see here in the distance over this patch of blue, wind-swept, water. We turned to look, and just as we did, we heard a screech and crunch and saw the bicycle slam into the barrier and a girl fly into the air and land by the side of the road.
She literally cartwheeled. The bike was going at about 30 m.p.h. The fisherman and I looked at each other in shock. "She'll be badly hurt", he said, "she wasn't wearing a helmet". I thought she would have been killed. She came down hard on concrete. If you look closely in this photograph, you will see the bike on its side and the driver by the injured girl. He seemed alright.
The accident was witnessed by a lot more than just us – there were many fishermen out on the levee edges – and there is a gas station about 50 yards further on from where the bike hit. So it did not take long for a number of people to rush out to help and within 3 minutes a police car had drawn up.By the time I had walked up past the flood barricade to where my car was, people were coming away from her. She was still lying there – a young man, somewhat shocked himself, said she was conscious and moving her arms but was badly cut and scraped and obviously incapable of getting up. An ambulance was on the way and I saw it arrive ten minutes later. I hope her injuries, clearly serious, are not severely so.
I am not going to forget the sight of this poor woman spinning through the air.