San Diego

Nasty Crash Strands Midwest Cyclist in California with 9 Broken Ribs

A Minnesota man is crediting his helmet for saving his life in a bicycle crash on San Diego streets.

Brian Dalton, 67, was pedaling his fixed-gear bike through the intersection of 5th and Upas Streets the day after Christmas when his right crank snapped in half.

“I got out of the saddle and just started going hard to make the light,” he recounted. “Nothing unusual. Something I do all the time.

In the blink of an eye, Dalton was flung from his bike seat and fell 6 feet to the ground. The blow to his head was so strong that he had a bruise on the base of his head that matched the shape of his helmet.

“For a crank to break, I’ve never heard of it happening,” said Dalton, who rides his bike nearly every day for exercise.

There’s no doubt Dalton is happy to still be breathing, but his road to recovery, as well as his road back home, will be long and difficult.

In addition to his head injury, Dalton broke a total of nine ribs – eight on his left side and one on his left. The jagged edge from one of the cracked ribs punctured his lung, too, which will keep him from getting on an airplane any time soon.

Dalton was in town helping his son Jackson start his business. Now, he’ll be holed up at his son’s house anywhere from eight to 12 weeks trying to heal. Trying being the operative word, because Dalton said he hasn’t been able to lie down in eight days.

“It was an instant role reversal,” Jackson said. “It went from him helping me out, to him being the one that needs help. So I immediately became, for lack of a better word, a home healthcare nurse.”

Dalton is adamant that his helmet is the reason he’s alive. And with the latest motorized scooter trends he worries people are not taking safety seriously.

“You see these new electric scooters buzzing everywhere and no one is wearing a helmet,” he said.

Despite his circumstances, Dalton said his dilemma won’t keep him from getting back to his passion when his health permits.

When asked if he’ll ride again, he replied “Most definitely! Yea, probably the same bike. I will have another crank put on there. Maybe I will inspect it daily before I ride.”

Dalton is retired and won’t be able to go back to his part-time job following the crash. With medical bills piling up from his three days in the hospital, Dalton says he’ll need some help paying them off. A GoFundMe Page was set up to help him do just that.

Dalton also says he’ll be contacting the manufacturer of the peddle crank to make sure they are aware of the issue.

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