Last time I saw Dave Collins, he was laying in the ICU at the University Hospital. The time before that, he was laying in the middle of the road in American Fork Canyon. He was unconscious and bleeding profusely. It wasn’t looking good.
It was August 22, 2009. Brian Tolbet and I were riding with a group of cyclist during the 1000 Warriors Bike race. We were cruising down AF canyon about a mile from the bottom when all hell broke loose. Just as our group approached an SUV also traveling down the canyon, the driver slammed on his brakes to avoid an oncoming truck and trailer that was partially in our lane. Within a split second a number of cyclists including myself had no where to go. Dave, who was leading the pack, smashed through the back window of the SUV, then to the pavement where his body came to rest. A few other cyclists were also crashed, sustaining some minor injuries, but nothing as traumatic as what laid in front of me on the pavement.
The immediate response of a few cyclists and a military medic helped stabilize Dave until the paramedics arrived. He was immediately flown to the UofU hospital where he where he underwent two surgeries to repair his punctured lung, broken jawbone, broken facial bones and severed a nerve in addition to the cuts from the SUV’s glass.
While in the hospital a few of us on the Kuhl team went to visit and drop of a little get-well gift, in hopes that it would help bring him back to the sport. Now, nearly six months later, Dave is back on the bike. His wife tells me it was a form of therapy for Dave. He doesn’t remember anything from the crash so it hasn’t been hard to think about it, but the healing process has been a constant reminder and has taken a bit of time.
KDAY Racing would like to give a big shout out to Dave for getting back with it and doing it in style. Glad to see you sporting the jacket Dave. If you ever get back to Utah feel free to look us up for some ride time.