Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bass Lake Grade Blues

Brandon just bought his new motorcycle. A beautiful day, it was his inaugural ride. He comes from a family of motorcycle enthusiasts. Unfortunately, a Honda Civic driver not paying attention to the road, spoiled the day for the new motorcycle owner last Friday. I was driving down the Bass Lake Grade with the kids in the car when I noticed a truck parked off to the side of Highway 50. One of the solar call poles was down and a motorcycle was spilled on its side with its young driver lying curled up next to it. Pulling off to the side of the road, I told the kids to stay in the car and went to check on the injured motorcyclist. He was a mess, but thankfully, he was alive.

The two nice gentlemen who stopped after the biker went down, moved him out of the roadway and in the confusion of trying to reach 911 with two cell phones, we kept getting busy signals. Exasperated, I tried to reach someone at my house to call 911. The young man gave me his mom’s number and in trying to keeping him alert, I used the number he gave me and instructed his mom to call 911 from her land line, explaining that Brandon was conscious and I thought he was going to be OK but he needed medical attention. She summoned the paramedics and we waited. I prayed and counted the seconds.

I found out that night that the Honda Civic driver either wasn’t aware of what happened after merging into a lane with a motorcyclist, or left the scene of the accident. In any event that person ran Brandon off the road. He flipped off his bike sustaining multiple injuries and fractures. His motorcycle took out the solar call pole. With a guardian angel working overtime, Brandon was lucky his injuries weren’t any worse. Holding onto him, I tried to assess his injuries, wishing I had been more prepared with blankets in the car. He obviously was going into shock. Luckily the awesome El Dorado Hills Fire and medic team from Station 86 arrived and initiated care on the scene, transporting Brandon to UCD Medical Center, where top notch trauma care could be rendered. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen someone off the road coming down the grade. People are just driving too fast and not paying attention.

The team at Station 86 was prompt, professional and caring. The El Dorado Hills Sheriff department was also on scene and I am reminded of how amazing these people are who serve our community. You are the real heroes in our midst.

Brandon is on the mend, thank God; and for those two guys in the truck, the good Samaritans, it’s nice to see people who stop and care. Station 86 I’m proud to be your neighbor and feel so much better knowing you all are close by. Drivers, pay attention, slow down …after staring into that young man’s face, I thought about what could have happened, what could have been lost, and it caused me to shudder. Take it easy out there…

Tammy Maher is a biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her at or on the web at

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