Friday, December 26, 2008

Jim Spag hit on Christmas Eve

from Ashley:

We went to the ER to make sure nothing was broken, and all is okay. He's really sore, but it's a far better situation than what could have happened. Seeing as how he's the sixth documented cyclist hit in 2 months (2 of which are dead, right?), I'm livid at the state of things, but could not possibly be more grateful for his well-being.
The guy who hit him wasn't paying attention, slammed on his brakes and was skidding to a stop when he rear-ended Jim on Oakwood near Church St. He went over the handle bars, and his catlike reflexes saved him... although it has really taken a toll on his knees.
The driver has insurance, and they will be hearing from an irate wifey on Monday morning.

City council will certainly be getting an earful at their next meeting, from me and Jim and whoever else would like to show up and contribute.
Thank you all for your concern!

His mentality was stereotypical, though... "you shouldn't be on the road...etc etc..." But Jim also says that he was apologetic and sincere. He's defending the guy that could have taken his life... certainly not the point of view I'd have in his crippled shoes, and sure as hell not the POV I currently have...

/he left the scene of the accident (technically referred to as a hit-and-run)
//when Jim called to ask him to come back, the guy said he "couldn't"
///the cop had a hearty laugh at that one-back in less than 5min


Tyler said...

that's terrible!! I am glad he is not more seriously hurt if you guys need anything don't be afraid to ask and yes we all should show at the next city council meeting

Bello Velo said...

Hope you are ok Jim

Anonymous said...


I feel like shit. I cant move my right knee due to swelling, I'm walking with a cane, my ankle is sprained and my wrists ache a bit. My body is still dealing with trauma I can tell, my appetite is gone. I see a faint light at the end of a tunnel, I reach for it with my broken body....

I'm okay certainly feeling my mortality.

Thank you for the concerns.

As for Ashley, she's more upset than I apparently. I am not the type to discount the kindness of a person. The guy who hit me was a prime example of the average motorist in Huntsville. He simply did not expect me to be occupying the road. Truthfully, I'm more upset at the city as of now, they need to get their ass in gear and get those PSAs out, if not, I will be taking legal action, seriously. I have had enough of this. As for the man who hit me, lets not forget that he DID realize my point when I was telling him of cyclist rights. He did learn a lesson and he did realize he was at fault. It would be different if it were someone who hit me, and then cussed me out as I was lying in a pool of blood.

As for the hit and run issue, Let me explain: I was traumatized, I was not feeling all the pain I feel right now. I told him I need his contact info because I was not sure if I could walk the next day. I said he could go if he wants and I'd call him if there are any problems. A few minutes later, the adrenalin diminished and I could no longer stand. I called him back to come to the scene to make a police report, he replied "I can't come back, call me tomorrow." I called the police, they called him, he was there 5 minutes later filling out the police report.

I then went to the hospital...stayed in the same room Tyler did, in fact.

So there you have it. I will be pursuing some damages, but you wont see me driving around in a Mercedes after all of this is said and done. I just want compensation for the potential problems that my knee will cause me, lost time from work, the hospital bill and the costs of fixing my bike. Very minor damage to the bike...just a wheel truing is necessary.

So there is my side. Our good friend Lucas got hit last week on his bike, if you hadn't heard. Then shortly after, a pedestrian was killed. On homeless man got sideswiped and sent to the hospital around Sara's time, and shortly before another man was struck on Drake. Then the man on Pulaski Pike.So the tally is

Sara, me,Lucas, pedestrian, Horace, then 2 homeless guys = 7

jim spagnola

Anonymous said...

ADC1 says glad it wasn't worse, Jim, and that you are there to feel anything. HAMILGS posted your accident and blog over on BROL. I've had a similar brush with a car - and that hit and run is still unsolved. Glad you have your health, and glad you will recover damages.

Heal well and quickly. And please ride again as soon as you can. ADC

Jafafa Hots said...

Here in NY state the law is that bikes MUST be on the road, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalks. Yet the Buffalo cops have routinely harassed bicyclists and ordered them onto the sidewalks, unwilling to listen to bikers' explanation of the law, contradicting them, etc.

In Florida where I lived for 2 years, it was even worse. I had my bike shipped down and rode it all of 2 times for a total of maybe 2 miles before I gave up in frustration - it's simply too dangerous there. Drivers were actively hostile. As I learned later that's not limited to bikes - I had drivers yell and play chicken, literally threatening me with their vehicles as I tried to walk across the crosswalks when I got the cross signal.

I don't drive, and I'm losing my patience with drivers... at best, many people seem to turn off parts of their brain when behind the wheel, and at worst cars seem to make some people dangerously aggressive.

the milkman said...

Dear Sir Hots,
I stand behind you on all your comments. And I agree with you about Florida. I don't see how that piece of dangling American shit is still allowed to remain with the continent. But, here we are in Huntsville and, bless you Jim, I'm so glad you made it. I don't know what else to say. This was not just a close call. This happening reveals a reality about living in Huntsville that is far more threatening than escaping by mere chance. I'd actually call it "luck" that you were hit by someone who has capacity for compassion.
So, Jafafa, I empathize with you about that wretched state Florida but, don't slip into the mistake of believing That Huntsvillian's are above reproach. I've seen these stupid mofo's WALK out in the middle of traffic trying to intimidate not only bikes, but CARS!!!! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It's just beyond anything you've ever seen! These mofo's is crazy! I'm fucking sick of it.
Get better soon Jim. We'll all be doing nothing but thinking of you.

Love all,

Anonymous said...

Thanks y' all. God I hate the south. I meant thanks to all of you. I need to get out of this car culture. Just yesterday, while driving, I was almost creamed by an SUV scurrying around a semi truck. I think I must be accident prone. So I have had 3 near death experiences in the past month..go me. First, I almost elecrocute myself, second I almost get into a 10 car pile up on whitesburg, third I get mowed over by a fucker without any insurance, and the accident gets logged by an officer with no clue.

As I was wading through red tape the past few days and cringing in various pains, I realized that maybe I need to remove myself from this place, because If i keep on like I'm going , I will be worm food.

Get this, regarding the accident:
Driver of car, a Mr. Jonathan Hovis, is 24, lives at home, drives uninsured, drives unaware, and has no place of employment. I was assuming his house was on wheels, but it is on Humes. Upstanding citizen as he is, falsified information on the police report, removing himself from any personal responsibility.
His policy had canceled a day before he hit me. So maybe he was going through hard times...yeah, poor guy. I try to have compassion for the poor, underprivileged and uncircumcised but not this time.

I saw an attorney yesterday before I got the news. He knew we had a case, he told me to go to the doctor because of my condition. ( I was having tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, migraines ect..) That day I walked with cane in hand to and fro, directed here and there and hit all dead ends. Then I got the call from my insurance company..they stated that they would pay any medical bills, but I was screwed on anything else.

So, I try to get with the Huntsville police to let them know that the guy was driving illegally. They told me "Well there is nothing we can do about it now, our officers are usually too busy to go back and issue warrants." At this point I realized that this city and perhaps this country is no place i want to be.

Happy days are here again! See what the new year brings!

Peace to all, Vic, Nolen, and all others as well!

jim spagnola

clintpatty said...

There are good things about Alabama too. Maybe you think that's easy for me to say since I seem to be only minor-accident prone, though. I wouldn't quit on the insurance warrant yet. Have you talked with Mark Roberts? The city should have already been doing more to educate officers and the public. It was good to see you getting around well yesterday.

Anonymous said...


Trust me, I have never witnessed such slow and lazy government as I have witnessed here in Alabama. Really, there is a huge difference between the way things are handled here and the way things are run by the yanks. All of youz guyz(bike and art buddies) are exceptions to the rule, but really this whole bible belt mentality of "let god sort it out on his time" is not cool. Remember, the 7 days? Shit, that was like 18 billion years! I'm not waiting any more than one billion years for this town to get all of its Coors lights in one cooler.

This is going deep, I have already been doing research on how I can possibly recover damages from the guy. Despite me looking like i was fine last night, it hurts to stand and my knee is achy, along with the rest of me. My bike is okay, but hes paying for a wheel to get trued and my handlebar tape to get replaced! The guy should not be driving if he can't drive aware or with proper insurance.

This is not just an issue of me being pissed at schmucks who hit cyclist and take no responsibility, this is a case against the way officers handle cycling law and it is a case against the city for having their heads stuck in their asses while the cycling committee does it's best to make them understand that the city representatives just do not get the cyclist plight.

I'm telling you, I had to adjust big time when i moved here. I was even a born again christian. I drank the punch, i tried to be that local yokel, but no, i can't. I hate this stupid football obsession, the fixation on car culture and cable tv. I hate the litter on country roads, the TVA's irresponsibility to it's customers, the lack of efficient road engineering, and the complete lack of support for anything that does not bear Jesus' "seal of approval".

I'm a yank, man, always will be, most of all I'm an Italian yank who loves house music, real clubs that are filled with cool people, lowriders and the smell of bus diesel. I am a hater of all things Skynard and Roll tide. I'm closing the door on this f'd up southern culture and the good old boy mentality. I seriously can't wait until the ice caps melt and water washes away the sins of the southern hypocrisy, as well as the tens of thousands of crystal meth labs as well.

Really, I'm just being facetious. I do admire the land for its beauty, as well as the individual properties of real people, which most who read this are very much derserving of my respect.

See yous people sometimes lata.

Jim "Pretty mouth" spagnola

Anonymous said...

right on!!! next time they do a civil war enactment let them use real bullets and off themselves!!!

Anonymous said...

OOH, that's evil....I like it.


Isabel said...

On the city council meetings: Looks like the next regular meeting will be this Thursday, the 8th. The monthly town meeting at the library will be on the third Monday of this month, the 19th, at 7:00pm. What meeting was everyone planning to attend?

Here's some info:
City Council Regular Meetings are held in the City Council Chambers of the Municipal Building on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 6:00 P.M. For Information, call (256) 427-5011.

District 1 City Councilman Richard Showers, Sr. - Office hours are 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Monday and Tuesday. Please call (256) 427-5011 for an appointment.

District 2 City Councilman Mark Russell would like to hear from you. Please contact him at or call (256) 427-5011.

District 3 City Councilman Sandra Moon - Office hours are 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Monday and Thursday. Please call (256) 427-5011 for an appointment.

District 4 City Councilman Bill Kling - Monthly Town Meeting - Third Monday of every month at 7:00 P.M. The meeting will be held at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Meeting Room A. For Information, call (256) 427-5011.

District 5 City Councilman Will Culver Please call (256) 427-5011 for appt.

Bello Velo said...

This Thursday