The day after the accident, a Friday, I couldn’t concentrate on work. Don’t get me wrong, I got it done, but all my spare time was spent trying to track down the two victims of the motorcycle accident I’d seen the day before.
Through a Washington State Patrol email I received as part of the news-media, I had their last names and could narrow my search, it was a difficult task made worse by not actually seeing their faces, but only their eyes through the motorcycle helmets.
I gumshoed my way through Google results trying to find the exact Kristine and Lucas that I’d seen the night before and finally found them both in Google+. Somehow, I’d found them and, throwing caution into the wind, I messaged them both on Google Hangouts.
The night before, they hadn’t remembered what happened to them, so I knew I could still provide a service. Kristine had messaged me first, requesting information and giving me an FYI that their insurance would be reaching out to me.
We texted back and forth for a while and then the big day came that we went down to Auburn to meet them.
Two weeks later, Rob and I were getting hugs from their Lucas’ mom and dad, sitting on their couch conversing with the family as a whole, marveling in what they survived.
According to Lucas, he remembered some of what happened, but not everything. He remembered the car coming alongside them, but not all that happened under the wobble. Like I said last time, it’s probably a good thing.
When asked if he’d ever ride again, Lucas responded with emphasis: “No, probably not.”
“I’d started on that bike and I’ll probably end on that bike,” Lucas said about the several years he’d owned his bike.
He was mad, too. Not only in and of itself, as is natural, but also because Kristine had been hurt. It wasn’t just that the accident was totally preventable, but that it had happened with his girlfriend on the bike. That she was hurt, let alone on her birthday.
She survived to be 27 years old.
Her b-day wish was to go on a cruise in the city on his bike. They had dropped off their 6-year-old girl at his parent’s and were heading into Seattle for their evening merriment.
The evening was supposed to be a celebration, not a fight for their lives; crawling out from behind and beneath guard rails after sliding across major highways at high speeds.
(KOMO News got the gruesome photographs of their wounds…)
In the end, Lucas came away with a fractured shoulder, a broken arm and a shattered ankle. He’d gone through some surgery but may have to go through more. Not to mention months, if not years, of rehabilitation.
Kristine had a broken arm and road rash from head to toe. She hadn’t had surgery yet, but may have to, though doesn’t have insurance to pay for the costs.
It could have been worse. They’d worn double layers of leathers prior to heading out and had worn Department of Transportation certified helmets.
The accident should never have happened in the first place, but at it also could have been a lot worse.
Kristine agreed. I asked her about how the search for footage went and learned something new.
Apparently, there would be no hopes of finding footage of the guy that hit them. The Washington State Department of Transportation cameras that line the miles and miles of highways in this state are not there to record, but merely to show active status of the highways.
“That’s stupid,” I said. Kristine agreed.
While there’s little hope of finding the guy who did it, their night into town wasn’t completely ruined by not returning from it at all.
In the end, they were able to limp and crutch their way back into their daughter’s arms and into the house they share in Auburn.
The best of people are coming out as bosses and friends bring them Costco runs of groceries to keep them all fed, including some homemade items, too.
His parents help with school transportation for their daughter, while they rest at home and heal their many wounds.
With the help of family, friends and generous co-workers, they are making their way – though the mortgage still gives them cause for concern.
See, while they will have their jobs when they have been doctor-cleared to return to them, the injury insurance doesn’t pay out immediately, nor does it pay out enough to cover the surgeries that Kristine is likely to need in the coming months.
Her friends set-up a crowd fund to help them cover the costs, but it’s still a long road ahead of them. A long one full of painful recovery sweetened by the fact that they lived to see another day.
We chatted about many things in the hour or two we were welcomed into their home. No doubts they are gearing up for Seahawks game day excitement, as Kristine is quite a fan.
“All those are mine,” Kristine said of the various ‘Hawks stuff around the room, though Lucas added his own flair with some machine-lasered metal pieces with Seahawks cutouts.
I’m hoping they are enjoying it with family and friends close by and their daughter on the couch between them, enjoying some food brought by those that love them as much as they love each other (and the little one between them in my minds’ eye).
If there are two people in the world that deserve a snippet of perfection, it is these two who had it ripped away from them by a callous act.
If you would like to donate funds to help these two, please visit their GoFundMe page.