Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tragedy on Mary's Peak

Jane and I went for a motorcycle ride this morning. It was beautiful out, not a cloud in the sky, cool, and no wind. We decided to head to Mary's Peak (the highest mountain on the coastal range) and get a view of the surrounding land. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the coast.

Just before reaching the winding road leading up to the Mary's Peak turnoff, Jane signalled me to pull over, and said she was cold. We decided to go on to Mary's Peak anyway, and when we arrived at the summit parking lot, there were 4 guys on "crotch rocket" motorcycles, talking and enjoying the morning.

Jane and I walked to the summit, enjoyed the view, prayed a little, and headed down. "You can hear those guys all the way from here" Jane said, when we were still quite a ways away. We both used the outhouse, and by then the guys were warming up their bikes for the ride down. Jane said, "let's wait until they leave, I don't want them coming up behind us," and I said, "yeah, let's follow them and pick up the pieces."

We left a few minutes after they did, and headed slowly down the twisting mountain road. About 2 miles down, we came around a corner, and one of the four rocket riders flagged us to slow down. I stopped and asked what was going on. He said "We lost a rider." I thought he meant that one of them went down, and we weren't far enough around the corner to see the wreck.

Then, I noticed the skid marks leading off the edge of the road into a very steep ravine. I told him I was trained in first aid, and asked if they need some assistance. He said, "somebody already went to get someone." I asked again if they needed help, and he said, "He's dead." I asked him, "are you sure?" He replied, "he's decapitated." I gasped.

In surveying the scene, I noticed the dead rider's bike upside down between two trees, front end pointing toward the road (he'd done an endo). About 25 feet further down the steep hillside was the body, and the helmet laying a couple of feet away.

One of the other riders was struggling to come up the hillside from the body, and he told me that he had found the rider's head in the helmet, about 30 feet further down the hill from the body. He carried the helmet/head to the body and lay it alongside, and came up the hill. He told me that his eyes were still open.

Both of the riders who remained at the scene were remarkably calm, although one did remark that he was feeling the symptoms of shock. I gave them both some of our water, and Jane and I waited there with them to make sure they were ok. When the third rider came back up the hill, we prayed with them, and stayed and talked until the police arrived.

It was a grizzly scene, and really caused us to stop and think about how short life is, and how quickly things can change. It is our prayer that the riders will be able to find peace in this circumstance, and that the dead rider's family will be ok.

For all of you out there that ride motorcycles, BE CAREFUL!


Anonymous Karen said...

Hi Doug. I am sad and happy at the same time that I found your blog... you see, I've been trying to find information on this specific crash. I crashed on Mary's Peak on July 9th, there were some strange circumstances, and I heard that this accident had some erie similarities...except that by some miracle, I walked away from the accident. I have been trying to find out if it happened in the same location as mine. my email is I know this probably bring up really bad memories, but I would really appreciate any help that you could give me. Thank you,

January 5, 2007 at 2:59 AM  

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