Crash Stops Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride, Miles From Goal
Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.
"Last night, Jacob was within 4 miles of his day's destination, on his way to Miami for the last game of the ride, when he was clipped by a semi-truck which left the scene of the accident," an update on the Facebook page of his charity ride announced Sunday.
Landis suffered a severe concussion, a broken nose, and a fractured cheek bone in addition to other injuries, according to the update.
But the message ended on a high note, declaring, "He has been released and he will be OK!"
"I may not be on a bike but I will still be at the Miami game!" Jacob wrote in a comment on the post. "The reason for this ride is not over!"
Update at 4:20 p.m. ET: 'We're Just So Grateful'
At the time of his crash, Landis was about 180 miles from the end of his cross-country ride, having left Tampa and headed for Miami. Doctors say he'll need to stay off the bike for about two weeks, according to Jacobs Ride media coordinator Alyssa Sullivan. Baseball's regular season will be over by then.
"We're just so grateful that he's OK," Sullivan says, calling the accident "very scary."
Sullivan confirms that Jacob will be at ballgame in Miami. And she says that he wants to officially finish the ride when he is able to do so.
Our original post continues:
Landis, 24, began his ride in April, setting out from Annapolis, Md., where he grew up and works at a Whole Foods grocery. He cycled westward across the country and back, making visits that MLB teams embraced — photos on his blog show Landis throwing out the first pitch at games, and meeting star players.
A party had been planned to celebrate Landis' completion of the planned 11,000-mile ride, which would have come at the Miami Marlins' stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
In a tweet sent yesterday, Landis had written to the Marlins, "wow guys thanks for the shout out, it means a lot - I'm excited" about the game.
According to the bio page of his website, Landis began to lose his hearing as a child. He had cochlear implant surgery in 1999, when he was 10 years old. With the cross-country bike ride, he had set out to raise $200,000 for a fund to help those in need pay for a cochlear implant.
Thank you to NPR's Scott Neuman for alerting us to this story.