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Vehicle hits Motorcycle

Midlife Crashes

By: Thomas Ryll

"Kerry Christal and her 14-year-old daughter were headed home from garage-sale shopping on the afternoon of Aug. 28, 2004, when they stopped in a line of traffic stalled on Fourth Plain Road. On the pavement in front of them lay a black Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Anxiety swept over Christal. She knew what a Harley-Davidson looked like; her husband owned one, a 1986 1100 Sportster. He was riding it that afternoon. It was black.

Home was two miles away. The caller ID on the Christals' telephone dashed any thought that her fears about the downed motorcycle were irrational. There it was on the display: Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Kerry was distraught. Her daughter ran outside, screaming.

"Our stomachs were sick," Kerry recalled. "It was horrible. Absolutely horrible."

Rick Christal was in Legacy's intensive care unit with a head injury sustained when he was thrown 50 feet after being hit by a car that pulled out of a parking lot. The motorist was leaving a Little League field to get a glove for his son."

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