Share the road

June 8, 2012

“Kevin Royston is a husband, father and athlete.  Now he’s in a hospital bed, his leg broken in four places, so damaged that it likely cannot be saved.”

That is according to 13 Wham News. Click here for the article.

Let me tell you the cold harsh reality of how the process goes, from accident to even just getting to the hospital, I spent most of my nursing career in the trauma bay.

Mr. Royston was apparently hit from behind by a vehicle on a rarely traveled by motor vehicle country road. The car drove off.  According to the article:

Investigators say another driver on his way to Wayland discovered the victim lying in the ditch next to a broken bicycle.  He had been riding up a small hill, when he was struck from behind.

The impact threw him into the ditch.  Kevin Royston did not see the vehicle.   “He doesn’t have much memory of what happened,” says his brother Bryan.”

How long transpired before he got help…. is unclear. Ambulances are not just there. Especially in a town like Rushville. It takes time to gather the EMS crew especially if they are volunteer. Mercy Flight doesn’t just arrive. They are called once the scene is assessed, then Kevin has to be taken to a place where the helicopter can land and help further stabilize him.

When your leg is broken in four places that could take longer than an hour. And all you were doing was riding your bike, on a quiet country road.

Meanwhile…. your kids are wondering where you are. Maybe your wife has been called, maybe she’s still waiting for you to come home. Either way they are now paralyzed in fear because….. they just don’t know.

You are transported by Mercy Flight to Strong. You are in good hands but that doesn’t take away from the broken state you are in. It doesn’t take away your pain. They might give you morphine but I have taken care of enough trauma victims to know that it doesn’t take away the pain. You are broken in four places, and that is all they are telling us. The pain and terror are unexplainable.

I know the orthopedic and trauma guys at Strong and you are in the best hands. But it doesn’t mean you don’t FEEL what is happening, and it doesn’t mean that your family isn’t going through hell right now. Your kids are the most frightened and there are no immediate answers for your wife or your kids. The physicians can’t talk to you while they are working on him. So a social worker sits with you in the family waiting room. It’s a small room off the waiting room of the main emergency dept. There is nothing in there except for chairs and hopefully that social worker and…… you.

Meanwhile there is a person….. who drove off and left you for dead.

We as cyclists understand that accidents happen. Most accidents involving you hitting us are because of driver inattention, alcohol, texting.

What none of us understand is how you hit a man on a bike, and leave the scene.

Who does that? Who does that? Who is so concerned about themselves that they can drive away?

Because we can’t even fathom that….. we assume that you are drunk or high. Because again what human being leaves another for dead.

Who the hell do you think you are?

Don’t think you can hide because you have an entire community looking for you, in addition to the police. You can run, but you can’t hide. Because at some point, somewhere we will find you. Police and even we lay people know exactly what to look for in terms of damage to a car. We know exactly who we need to be asking and exactly where we need to look.

Do yourself a favor and turn yourself in. You can run and you can hide but the truth will always come out. We will find out who you are and you will be brought to justice. It’s not going to save his leg, it’s not going to ease what he and his family are going through. But you will be brought to justice.

After Mr. Royston loses his leg if that’s in fact what happens…. and don’t count anything out just yet because he is in the hands of the best of the best. His life just took a course he did not sign up for. Recovery from this kid of surgery takes weeks. Then physical therapy, then learning life with one leg. Medical bills, the life his wife suddenly has to juggle…..

This is not an easy road.

I am calling on you cycling, triathlon, community in general. This is our time to come together. Dan Jareke of Nice Tri is going to be organizing a benefit ride for Mr. Royston. I am going to see if the Challenged Athlete Foundation can lend some guidance or help. We will be reaching far and wide to do what we can for our fellow cyclist. To help his family and him make the transition from where they were  last weekend….. to life of an amputee and accident victim.

Again I ask this of you….. keep your eyes open. Someone knows something and needs to come forward. I can’t comprehend what type of person leaves another for dead. Because that is so incomprehensible to me I come to the conclusion that you have to be drunk or stoned out of your mind to not be able to feel, to have your conscience turned off. And if you weren’t……. then may god have pity on your soul.

Every season we mourn the loss of a friend or we are watching another fellow athlete travel this unwanted road. As a car you are bigger. No matter what you are going to win the battle. Put the damn phone down. Pay attention to the road. Tell me, please tell me what’s more important than being safe out there?

The roads were MEANT to be shared. Share them.

Stay tuned for information on the benefit ride, and anything else that develops. This is not over. This is personal. This is a father and husband among many things, who took a hit he didn’t deserve.

Mr. Royston…… you can count on us to help you.






  1. Right on Mary. The person likely impaired, HOWEVER, I’ve experienced road rage, as I’m sure anyone who rides regularly has. Drivers purposely driving as close to me as possible, even feathering my handlebars when the entire two lanes lay before them are clearly, clear! Why? I’ve had obscenities yelled from car windows, angry, angry people preaching for me to get on the side walk. I follow the road rules, I’m visible and alert. Don’t yell or hit me, scream at your town, your state for better roads. We’ll be listening, reading Mary, ready to help.

  2. It is a sad, cold, frightened, self-involved world we enter out there on the road sometimes. We’ll keep Mr Royston in our thoughts and prayers. (On the brighter side of the coin: I fell of my bike last week riding with my wife near Mumford on a 30 mph road. Nobody’s fault; just an accident. But a guy was passing us and he turned around, came back, was concerned he had in some way been involved, and offered to help in any way possible.)

  3. Your article hit the nail on the head. As Kevin’s father-in-law I can attest to his dedication as a father, husband, and professional cyclist, motorcyclist and all around athlete. I experience the same death-defying stupid actions from drivers in cars and trucks (cages) on a daily occurrence when I ride my motorcycle. After riding for nearly 50 years without an accident, my luck finally ran out as a driver hit me almost headon. The driver claimed she didn’t see me which is the usual excuse. I was lucky – big bruises, sore back but a destroyed Harley. It’s unfortunate that those of of who enjoy and experience life on 2 wheels have our lives at risk from persons that just don’t care and believe that they alone, own the road. It’s hard for me to comprehend how anyone could leave the scene of an accident without rendering aid. We all await the apprehension of the lowest of life scumbag that hit Kevin. I have the faith that Kevin will recuperate soon,overcome this new challenge and be back home soon.


  4. #@$%/+ +!


  5. Mary, My name is Joel Colletti, Kevin and I grew up together and ride together regularly, There’s a group of us friends and “riding buddies” forming a benefit/awareness ride on July 28th. We’ll have a facebook page up soon with the details as they unravel and I’ll keep you in the loop, we would love all the support we can get.

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