Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Medic tells of cyclist's last minutes

If trained and willing aid had been enough to save bicyclist Christophe Le Canne, he might be in intensive care today at a South Florida hospital. "He was breathing. He had a pulse," Broward medic Jose Diaz said of what he found perhaps five minutes after a car hit Le Canne in the Rickenbacker Causeway bike lane and slammed him against the concrete wall that protects joggers and walkers.

"I could tell immediately that this was no ordinary injury," Diaz said. "His legs were broken. He had a massive head injury. He was bleeding fast."

Diaz is a cyclist himself, and a South Miami resident. Another medic, from Miami-Dade County, was riding with Diaz's club on Sunday when they came upon Le Canne's crumpled body on Bear Cut Bridge on the road to Key Biscayne. A physician stopped, too, and they all tried to help Le Canne breathe. But the bleeding from his mouth and ears continued.

"We had no tools to work with," Diaz said. "No airway tube. Nothing. It's a shame. It's hard for me to accept."

It took 22 minutes for a Miami-Dade crash truck to reach Bear Cut in response to the 911 calls. Diaz was pleading with the 911 operator to send a rescue team from Key Biscayne, or even Miami. "I told them, 'I know what I'm seeing here. I've been a medic 15 years.' "

Twenty-two minutes is pretty good time from the South Miami station from which the truck was dispatched along U.S. 1. Imagine how much less it would have taken from Station 15, two miles out Crandon Boulevard from the bridge -- but closed at 8 a.m. Sunday, when the crash happened. Five days a week, or after 10 a.m. on Sunday, Station 15 could have taken the call. The station's duty hours were curtailed in December, part of the county's budget-cutting.

"I would really like to see the firemen back at Station 15," Diaz said.

The rescue crew, when it arrived on Sunday, worked fast and efficiently to take care of Le Canne. It proved futile, though. "He had lost his pulse," Diaz said. The trip to Jackson Memorial Hospital was a desperation effort, what you do in hopes of a miracle. This Sunday morning, there was none.
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For more about the matter, see The Miami Herald and Green Mobility Network.

5 comments:

dario said...

Maybe immediate attention would have saved this man's life, but that is a big maybe. Throwing money at emergency responders might improve the average response time by another minute, maybe two. Though 911 issues must be dealt with the real problem here is the conflict between motorists and cyclist.

Premitive1 said...

Dario,
maybe you haven't been reading the many other posts and articles elsewhere on the topic.
"Throwing money at emergency responders" would have had that fire station open when the accident happened.
But certainly, money isn't the only, or even main problem.
Organization, jurisdictional boundaries, and other issues might well do significantly more to make things better for everyone than simply tossing more money into the system. This is believe wholeheartedly.
Unfortunately the system doesn't do well with self-examination, at least not honestly. Money though, it loves money.

Eddie Suarez - Kpeste99 said...

Perhaps these injuries were beyond fatal and nothing the emergency responders could do would have helped. But what if the injuries weren't as fatal? What if he was alive and had a chance to survive had help arrived in 5 minutes? or in 10? Instead of 22?

Why if Station 15 was closed, then how come they didn't have a backup plan to call the KB Station? Did this question come up when they decided to close 15? Did they ask themselves what do we do if there's an emergency when 15 is closed? Seems as if they didn't.

Steve said...

The very fact that there is a KB municipal fire station and a county fire station about a mile apart is the utter stupidity of the situation. Why can't the county contract with KB for emergency services just as small towns contract with the county for fire/emergency services? It has gotta be more efficient for everyone.

One Fly said...

Here is a very strong post from a bud here in Colorado who saw this story and like others is outrage how deaths like this are covered and portrayed my the media. Don't let this slug who killed this man get away.