Sept. 16, 2013–Alpine, NJ–By Jen Benepe
Overgrown vines may have played a role in the crash of a cyclist on Route 9W near Alpine, NJ on Sunday that left him with a concussion.
Lou Rosario, 33, of Brooklyn, NY was traveling northbound on the shoulder when his bike crashed, causing injuries to both arms, and the back of his head as he rolled left.
The overgrown vines take over half of the shoulder where cyclists travel up the popular bike route on the northbound hill section from Alpine, NJ to the Palisades Parkway southbound exit.
The vines may have interfered with Rosario’s bike movement by entangling the handlebars or other parts of the bicycle.
Dean Fearon who was traveling ahead of Rosario said that the bicycle was behind Rosario after he fell.
No drivers or cars appeared to have played a part in the incident, said Fearon who rides with the Major Taylor Bicycle Club.
Other cyclists traveling the route earlier in the day however said they had nearly been caught in the vines, and many said they had to travel out into the roadway to avoid them.
At around 12 noon the Closter, NJ volunteer ambulance came to the scene, as well as members of the Alpine Police Dept. to assist Rosario.
Rosario’s white and multi-colored helmet was severely damaged in the back, and he was urged by responders to go to the hospital.
Though he initially did not want to go to the hospital, Rosario’s condition worsened quickly, and he was urged to get immediate medical care by other cyclists, police and medical technicians.
Rosario was having trouble remembering anything that was said to him five minutes prior, and as time continued, he could not remember anything that had happened two seconds prior.
Rosario was taken to Hackensack Hospital because of the seriousness of his head injury and was later released.
A group of cyclists, many of them from the Major Taylor Cycling Club stopped and provided moral support. Several club members along with Fearon traveled to the Strictly Bicycles shop in Fort Lee, NJ to arrange with owner Nelson Gutierrez to hold Rosario’s Cannondale bicycle until it could be picked up.
A good samaritan named “Ben” stopped his car, provided ice, and transported Rosario’s Cannondale bicycle to Strictly Bicycles where it was later picked up by Rosario’s family members. He later texted this journalist to make sure Rosario was okay.
The Closter Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue group transported Rosario to Hackensack for free. But the non-profit group works on contributions and would welcome any donations that could help them continue their good work.