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Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Fun is Over

It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye, or so the old adage goes. I understand the Transit Strike is going to end today, so that means my intense pleasure of commuting by bicycle to work will come to an end. In reality, I will probably continue to ride my bike, but it won’t be the same. I enjoyed speeding through huge traffic snarls while 1000’s of motorists sat trapped in their cars for hours on end.

Unfortunately, the strike did not end soon enough for a fellow member of the Asphalt Green Triathlon Club. Matthew Long, a Tri Club member, firefighter and all around good guy, was struck by a bus while riding to work. He sustained some very critical injuries. Here is the story according to the Associated Press:

(New York - AP, December 22, 2005) -

An off-duty firefighter was struck and critically injured Thursday morning after being struck by a private bus while riding a bike to work.

The firefighter, identified as Matthew Long of Ladder 43, was struck at 5:58 a.m. on 52nd Street and Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan, said Fire Department spokesman Ken Bohan.

He was transferred to New York Weill-Cornell Medical Center where he was in critical condition, said Bohan. Long, a 12 1/2 year veteran of the FDNY suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries.

The bus involved in the accident is owned by Allen AME Transportation and is affiliated with the Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens, which is run by the Rev. Floyd Flake, an influential clergyman and former Democratic congressman.

"I really can't discuss it,' said a woman who answered the phone at the company. "I don't know anything."

No charges were filed; the accident remained under investigation.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

I feel for Matt. I too was hit by a bus 22 years ago so I know how devastating and shocking it must be for him. My injuries were not nearly so bad; broken ribs, punctured lung and contusions, and I recovered almost 100 percent (I still have some weakness in my left shoulder). I didn't know Matt well, but I sincerely hope that he will make a quick and full recovery. I’ll send out some prayers for him.

Tomorrow at 6AM, the Tri Club will do a ride in suppor of Matt. They will meet Engineer's gate between 5:45 and 6am to ride a few loops in collective support of Matt. I will be there to show my support.


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