Cyclist Greg Lowrie never made it home to his appointment at the West Oakland health clinic last tuesday, and immediately his mother, Maggie Lawrie, knew something was wrong.
Greg, who is 25, suffers from a serious heart defect, and was supposed to meet his mother after the medicalappointment. But Greg never showed.
Instinctively, Maggie called the clinic and, learning of a serious Oakland bike accident nearby, feared the worst.
Her son had been hit by a pickup truck one block away from the center, sending him flying off his bike. To make matters worse, as Greg lay there, unconscious, suffering from severe crash injuries and also an exacerbation ofhis heart condition, witnesses to the accident proceeded to rob Greg as well as the truck driver attempting to help him.
Greg and Maggie’s troubles are farther reaching than just this one crash and this robbery. The two have been trying to get on their feet for some time, living out of an RV in West Oakland, and doing whatever they can to regain stable financial footing. This accident won’t make Greg’s life any easier, and that is why some people have stepped up to help.
I remember representing a severely injured San Francisco bicyclist a few years ago who had been intentionally run over in a bicycle attack rampage by a driver who soon was caught and who now resides in a mental institution. We held a press conference and soon support came in from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. I opened a special trust account to handle the donations, and the money we were able to collect for my client went a long way in helping with his survival.
Now, East Bay residents are collecting donations to support Maggie and her son Greg through this difficult time, including a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $7,000 for the family.
These acts of kindness will help the family dearly as Greg begins to attempt recovery from his injuries.
“They don’t know how extensive the brain damage is,” said Maggie, two days after the crash. “When he wakes up, we don’t know what’s going to be wrong…They’re worried, because his heart isn’t functioning well enough to pump a lot of oxygen to his brain and his brain isn’t functioning well enough to keep the heart moving. … Neither one of the organs are working properly.”
Through it all, Maggie remains optimistic. Recounting the other medical issues her son has had throughout the years, commenting that he’s recovered from all of those as well.
Maggie is still unsure of what may have caused the accident, commenting: “We ride that route everyday, and Greg is a very cautious rider…I can’t imagine him running into a car or being somewhere where a car could run into him.”
Although Greg’s condition has yet to improve, she is hopeful that he will wake up soon.
As a bicycle accident attorney and fellow bicyclist, I wish Greg a quick and complete recovery, and share Maggie’s sentiments in hopes he will wake up soon. As the investigation continues, I will be watching closely to see what actually happened in this terrible bicycle accident. Maggie should not hesitate to contact a bicycle accident attorney to help with the claim against the truck driver’s insurance. Remember that although Greg was robbed while helpless, and that conduct is reprehensible, the original injury came from being run over by the offending driver. I doubt whether the motorist’s insurance coverage will be adequate to completely compensate Greg for his catastrophic injuries, however this claim needs to be made right away, and his lawyer needs to also be able to work with the hospital to reduce the medical bills as much as possible. In my earlier case, mentioned above, I got the insurance limits from the offending driver fairly quickly, however it took me almost two years to finally negotiate and settle the bill with the City of San Francisco, who insisted that they be paid for the medical bills incurred by my innocent client. I encourage anyone with information regarding the accident to contact the police immediately, and to please give to Greg’s GoFundMe site. Let’s all help them get back on their feet. And I encourage Maggie to give me a call, FREE OF CHARGE, so I can help explain Greg’s options to her. I am thinking good thoughts for this young man, who really needs a break.
Claude A. Wyle is a partner of Choulos Choulos, and Wyle, a San Francisco based law firm dedicated to representing clients who have been injured by the wrongful conduct of individuals, corporations, public entities, and businesses. Mr. Wyle also frequently sits as a Judge Pro Tem for the city and county of San Francisco.