Wreck Details

Hey everyone its Dennis…as you know by now the trip was cut short by a scary accident on a very LONG, STRAIGHT, 4 lane highway in a very ISOLATED part of the Arizona desert. It was about 11am and we were cruising. It was day 8, so we were 7 days 11 hours into the trip after leaving Atlantic Beach at midnight a week ago. The reason for the detail and a secret I had been keeping until about 2 days from the end of the trip and the stretch run and sprint to San Diego ( the world record for the 2900 miles or so from coast to coast for someone 50 years old or older (( I know most of you are surprised I’m in that age group)) is 9 days and 10 hours). Soooooooo essentially we had roughly 46 hours to complete the bicycle journey and the 540 miles left to set a record for speed on a bicycle. I dont know if we would have done it.

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I was getting crazy tired (would nap anytime and anywhere I had 5 minutes)…i will include pictures of nap places in the next day. BUT we only had to average 270 miles per day for the next two days and adrenalin would have helped ( AND I HAD THE BEST TEAMMATES EVER). I had gotten through a complete day the day before in the Rockies climbing many times to about 6000 feet above sea level (breathing was difficult but legs did great!!!!!! those long training rides to Virginia in 95 degree heat were paying off. The last two days of cycling I started at 3-4 am as we did every day but it was 45 degrees. Not extremely cold if you are standing in your back yard drinking coffee but, the next time it is 45 degrees and dark outside, get in your car, roll down the windows, drive 20 MPH and then stick your head out the window.

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Thats what 45 degrees at 4am on a bike feels like. So layered from head to waist (legs were usually ok) you start shedding as daylight hits and by 2 pm it was 90-95 degrees and not a shade tree within 30 miles. So preparing for those conditions was difficult, but we were in the desert and there would be no traffic and so this would be the safest place for the biker (ME)….or so we thought…. as we headed down that highway i was able to daydream a bit ( the more you get your mind off of whats hurting ( EVERYTHING)…the better off you are…..then there was the crash….the support Suburban that had my 2 support guys in it was hit from behind at about 70 MPH from a guy in a pickup truck.

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Not sure if he was drunk ( the officer wouldn’t test him)..not sure if he was on his phone (officer didn’t check times ) but it would be essentially impossible for someone to hit us from behind on this road if he wasn’t impaired..see the picture of the highway

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look at our safety vehicle….it had lights like a wrecker truck, reflective signs, caution stickers.. It looked more like we should have served cotton candy out the back window……so what do you think after looking at these pictures what should happen………TRENT, my brother in law and driver got a ticket for impeding traffic (there was none) .

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We followed every Arizona bike law. Officer said we should thank him for not taking Trent to jail……REALLY?!…and followed that up with “y’all are city boys aren’t ya????” we had no chance….yep we got hit from behind and we got the ticket but THE SUPPORT VEHICLE AND CREW KEPT HIM FROM RUNNING ME OVER AT 70 MPH….yikes… we felt like it was too much to continue so, we booked a plane back to Greenville….so thanks for all the prayers and support. I couldn’t feel individual people, but I could really feel the support of a community of friends and family as the pain of pedaling 20 hours a day and sleeping 4 hours each night weighed heavier each passing day…..for those that know me there is a feeling of incompleteness after having trained for 2 years to do this.

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It would only take me a 2 days to complete the 540 miles and 2 days of travel and could do with fewer supplies and probably only one bike ( one of my bikes attached to the car was totalled)…………..wanna go???????????? it obviously wouldn’t officially count as a record but would connect the dots and may inspire one child to go go somewhere in life that no one else in their family had ever gone by understanding the concept of setting goals and not allowing anyone to get in their way. I will do a couple of more blogs in the coming days and include more pictures… but a big shout out to those that helped me where I really needed the help and that was financially ( NONE FOR ME) all for the KIDS at the Boys & Girls Clubs…those that need us the most……………. I can do all things through Christ ( i was almost an angel)……………..Dennis.

15 replies
  1. Melanie Vanderhorst
    Melanie Vanderhorst says:

    And you did do it ALL THROUGH CHRIST who gave your strength! No doubt about that. God went before you and paved the way. Nothing about this trip took Him by surprise. He put a mighty hedge of protection around you and your crew and we are so thankful for you and your crews safety. That is certainly the most important thing overall. You may could have set a new record but it would at some point be broken and you cannot replace a life. You set the mark high. How many others have done what you did. Few if any. It was a sheer joy to read your blogs and hear the updates that were posted. My children loved every minute of hearing where you were and what was going on. I am sure a lot of Pitt County felt the same way. You had so much support and it would truly a blessing to pray for you and you embarked on this great adventure. Hats off to you for such a tremendous accomplishment! Congratulations on a job well done Dennis and many thanks to your entire crew for being there alongside you to help you and keep you safe. I pray that none of them were injured in any way.

    Reply
  2. Margo Jackson Tulloss
    Margo Jackson Tulloss says:

    Dr. Ross, we are so proud of you and thankful that no one was injured! God answered prayers of safety for sure! I am so shocked by the reaction of this officer! Shame on him! He and the guy that hit you need to make a BIG donation to the cause!:) Thank you again for hard work and determination!

    Reply
  3. Bo Bunting
    Bo Bunting says:

    Wow! Glad you guys are ok. Dennis you are an inspiration to all of us and your story will be especially beneficial to all the boys and girls. We are proud of your hard work and commitment to the Boys & Girls Club. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Paige Murray
    Paige Murray says:

    I’m so glad y’all are okay. I’m sorry to hear of the setback, but so proud to say I know you. What an awesome testimony for a cause you so deeply care about. Hope to see you soon!

    Reply
  5. faith bagwell
    faith bagwell says:

    Dear dr. Ross
    I am very sad to hear about your crash. I hope you are home or almost home and recovering from your ride. I am very proud of you and hope you will be putting by braces on soon! I hope to see you soon and talk to you about your ride!
    I wish you good luck and prayers!
    ~faith bagwell

    Reply
  6. B.J. Craft
    B.J. Craft says:

    Glad you made it home safe & sound, Dennis. Although you were not able to complete your journey, you have done so much through this trip. You will be blessed!

    Reply
  7. Randy Fussell
    Randy Fussell says:

    God is good, and your efforts have blessed a lot of people! We are proud of you my friend! Glad everyone is ok! Randy and Bobby

    Reply
  8. Carrie Locklear
    Carrie Locklear says:

    Dr. Ross and Team — You have made a difference to many. I don’t understand why most people on the road and officers do not respect bicyclists. In most car accidents, determining fault is more complicated than looking at which car hit the other. Insurers and lawyers will look at police reports to see if officers mention negligence or issuing citations. Citations do not prove fault but can lend support to other evidence.

    Reliable witness statements can help sort out the sequence of events leading to the crash, and finding specific rules in the state vehicle code that a driver violated can also help assign fault. The final determination of fault is usually somewhat subjective.

    One Type of accident where fault is almost always clear:

    Rear-end Crashes: If you hit the car in front of you, you are at fault because you did not follow the safe driving rule that requires leaving enough room between the cars to be able to stop safely. You may share the blame if, for example, the car you hit did not have working brake lights or if someone pushed you into it.

    Get an Attorney Dr. Ross, get on TV for your Charity and make another difference in the Bicyclist World of changing the law for Cyclists and Charities.

    YA MADE A DIFFERENCE in many people’s lives — Sorry your Goal to help others was cut short due to an Idiot Driver that hit you in the rear and Officer that would not enforce a field sobriety test or check the Cell Phone for cause of the accident. AGAIN, GET AN ATTORNEY DR. ROSS – YOU WILL HAVE OUR SUPPORT!!!!

    Reply

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