Kansas City, I need your help, or, An Abject Lesson in Bicycle Safety

Before I seek your help, let me detail why I need it:

Downtown KC and its surrounds were hit with some surprise t-storms late afternoon on 7/7/09. Around 4:30 pm, Sa Rah calls me at work and asks if I want a ride home since I had bicycled in that morning. Typically, riding in the rain isn’t that big of an issue for me so I checked the radar: clear, then checked the sky outside: dark and ominous. “Yes, please,” I told her. I”m no fan of bicycling in a downpour, however brief it may be.

Sa Rah arrived at my office shortly thereafter and we head south on Main. We cross the light at Pershing and get into the right-most lane, climbing the hill next to Liberty Memorial. I’m turned toward my left, away from the passenger-side window, singing and goofing with the kids. I turn back to my right just in time to hear Sa Rah say, “Oh my god!” and see a bicyclist tumbling down the sidewalk (going against traffic) right here:

We pull over and I jump out to see what happened.
A black girl in her late-20s lie on the sidewalk, with badly scratched arms. She’s got her hands over her eyes and she’s moaning. She’s also not wearing a helmet.
“What happened?” I asked, kneeling.
“I was trying to dodge some water and the light pole. Is my head bleeding? I can feel it bleeding.”
I look toward her head upon which a white headband held back her hair. I start to lift it.
“Sorry. I don’t see any blood there. Your arms are pretty scratched up and bloody.”
“Check it again – here.” (She points.)
I left the headband again and see the white turning to red underneath.
“Yeah, you’re bleeding. Not badly. I’m going to call 911.”
I get up to go back to the car for my phone when I see several others have stopped. A gentlemen comes down and I ask him if he has a cell phone and can call 911. He tells me someone has already. I turn back to the girl.
“Don’t try to move. The paramedics are on their way.”
“What’s your name?”
“I”m Jason.”
“I’m Lauren.”
“You’re gonna be all right. Don’t worry.”
“I know I”m not gonna die or anything.”
“No, you’ll be fine. Just some scratches.” (Though her headband was grower more red by the second.)
“I’m going to get my cell phone.”
“OK, don’t move too much.”
She grabs her cell phone and makes a few calls, explaining what happened to whomever listened on the other end.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to go talk to my wife real quick.”
So I run up to our car and poke my head in.
“Kids OK? Did that dude call 911? Did you see what she hit her head on?”
“Honey, she hit that rock wall head on.”
“Oh, shit. Well, she’s bleeding from her head. I’m going to go back down there and hang out until the ambulance comes.”
I walk back down. A passenger from another stopped vehicle gets out of her car and says, “The paramedics said not to move her and don’t give her any water.”
“Thanks,” and I keep moving.
“Are you still OK?”
“I’m still conscious and I know who I am. I was just riding to Parkville.”
“I was supposed to ride home too, but the rain stopped me.”
“Wish I hadn’t.”
“You’re gonna be OK.”
“What’s your name again?”
“Thanks so much for stopping, Jason. Did you see what happened?”
“My wife did.”
“DId my head hit the sidewalk?”
“Well, yes, a couple of times. But you hit the rock wall first.”
“Oh, god, I hit the rock wall?” she said, laughing to herself.
We hear sirens.
“Lauren, the calvary has arrived.”
And with that the paramedics took over. Sa Rah comes down from the car to see if things are OK. I overhear Lauren tell the paramedics she’s 22 years old. Sarah tells me she found the patch of slick sidewalk where Lauren lost control of the bike – she almost fell herself walking on it. A police officer tells us we can roll now. I yell out “Good luck, Lauren,” and hear a faint “Thank you,” in response.
We pack it up and head out.

Now, KC, I need your help in tracking down this girl because I want to make certain she’s OK. Privacy laws don’t allow me to call up and request info from the hospitals. So here’s what I know:
Name: Lauren
Ethnicity: African-American
Age: 22
Distinguishing marks: some left forearm tattoos
Has a commute from DTKCMO to/from Parkville, MO on a green mountain bike with plastic, platform pedals.

If any of you know this person, please let us know how she made out at the hospital. Please post a link to this post to your facebook/twitter/social-network-du-jour. I appreciate it.

And, please, please, please wear your helmet when bicycling!

Kansas City, I need your help, or, An Abject Lesson in Bicycle Safety

One thought on “Kansas City, I need your help, or, An Abject Lesson in Bicycle Safety

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