Madison bicyclist hit by semi learns to walk again - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Madison bicyclist hit by semi learns to walk again

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison man is learning to walk again after being hit by a semi while on his bike.

Derek Preston, 23, says he doesn't remember the accident itself. "I remember biking to the intersection and I remember going through the intersection on the green light, next thing I know I'm at the hospital."

Derek rode his bike to and from work every day. He was on his lunch break in August when police say a semi ran a red light and hit him. "My back tire got hit by the front cab of the semi and it sling-shotted me into the whole side of the trailer," Derek told 27 News. "My bike flew one direction. I flew 30 feet some other direction. I was in critical condition at that point."

His back fractured in three places. He had a broken femur, a broken pelvis, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a tear in his bladder. But he was happy to be alive. His helmet prevented any head injuries. Derek says, "I wear it every day. Well, actually the day before, I forgot it and I never do that, but I was already halfway to work."

He hates to think what could have happened if the accident happened one day before.

Derek had to stay in bed for nearly 3 months. He finally stood for the first time since his accident a month ago. Since then, his trainers at oak park place have been amazed at his progress. He's relearning to walk; up and down the stairs, too. "You only get to experience walking in one life and you won't remember it, so I feel pretty proud of myself."

Derek may have some lingering health issues, but he does plan to bike again. He admits to being a little nervous. "I was a pretty lucky guy before all this but after all broken bones, I was lucky I was wearing my helmet that day. It saved my life.

Derek worked for Saris Cycling Group and there's a spot waiting for him there when he's better. His co-workers are putting on a benefit for him Thursday night at Badger Bowl starting at 8:30 to raise money and promote bicycle awareness.

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