Michael Duggan’s shift as a host at De Luxe Bar and Grill was over, so he drank an end-of-shift beer and hopped on his bike to head home. He was riding south on Broadway early December 18 near Roy, and next thing he knows he’s in the hospital. People who helped him after the wreck at Broadway and Pine Pike thought he wouldn’t make it. The concussion wiped out his memories 20 minutes before hand and 5 hours afterward.
“The last thing I remember is getting on my bike and riding south on Broadway,” he said. “I’m going to make a full recovery, it’s just gonna take some time.” Duggan spoke to me on the phone on his way to apply for food stamps. Due to his injuries, he may not be able to work or do much law school work for a couple months. But considering how bad the wreck was, Duggan considers himself lucky.
Witnesses he has spoken to and the police report have helped him piece together what happened. He was riding south on Broadway going downhill approaching the light at Pine Pike. He was in the left travel lane, but the car in front of him slowed down to enter the left turn lane make a left. He changed lanes into the right lane and continued through the intersection.
A driver from Montana in a rental car was facing north on Broadway attempting to make a left onto Pine Pike towards downtown. He made the left in front of Duggan, who had the green light. Duggan’s bike collided with the rental car, his front wheel tacoed at a 90 degree angle and his body did several flips in the air, landed on the roof of the car, then fell to the ground.
“Some of the witnesses were blown away because I’m able to speak on the phone,” he said. “Basically, everyone there thought I was either dead or paralyzed.” According to people who helped him by diverting traffic and attending to him until the ambulance arrived, he was not conscious and his breathing was labored. Commenters at Capitol Hill Seattle feared the worst in the immediate aftermath of the wreck.
But, incredibly, his injuries are not nearly as bad as originally feared. His helmet was completely crushed, and he had a severe concussion. But he does not have lasting brain injury.
“If anyone wants to know about the Lazer 02, I give it a rave review,” he said. Neither of his legs were broken, but they are badly bruised, and he has a pretty deep cut on right right knee that is giving him trouble. His hand was broken in two places and several ligaments were dislocated. He had surgery on his hand and will regain full dexterity, but it will take a while.
He has received a lot of support from friends and people in the biking community. He said he has not developed an angry anti-car mentality or anything, but he urges careful driving.
“I’m not crazy anti-driver right now,” he said. “Somebody did a stupid thing, and it’s a thing drivers need to be aware of … One minor traffic mistake by you and it could be a life-altering wreck for someone riding a bike.”
As a rider, Duggan liked alleycat races and other bike events set up by Go Means Go. He rode on the Mustache Ride just a few weeks ago. He’s not sure if he will be able to replace the yet-unidentifiable Colnago steel frame that was totaled, along with just about every other part of his bike (I will post a photo of the bike once he gets a chance to take one and send it my way in case any of you can help identify it).
The driver’s take on the collision was a little anti-bike (he described Duggan as “weaving” in and out of traffic in the police report), but several witnesses told the officer a different version that likely puts the driver at fault. If you saw or know someone who saw the wreck, email me and I can put you in contact with Duggan. The more witnesses, the easier it will be for him to receive quick compensation for his medical bills and bicycle.