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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Metro-east cyclist hurt in accident

Award-winning photographer Gerry Frierdich is in critical condition after he was hit by a pickup truck Sunday morning while riding his recumbent bicycle, the Belleville News-Democrat reported today.

Gerry, who works at Crafty Eye Photography in Belleville, has ridden frequently with the Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society.

Gerry was riding south in the 600 block of South Green Mount Road at 6:10 a.m. when Keith Joseph McCoy, of St. Charles, Mo., hit him from behind, according to Belleville police, the News-Democrat reported.

Keith McCoy, 23, who was driving a Chevrolet Silverado, apparently fell asleep behind the wheel, Belleville police Sgt. Dennis Weisbrodt said. McCoy's twin brother, Kenneth, was a passenger in the truck and also fell asleep.

Gerry, 44, was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and he was later airlifted to St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Mo.

Weisbrodt said the accident is still under investigation and Keith McCoy has not been charged.

Gerry and I worked together for a brief time in the 1990s at the News-Democrat. Gerry worked in our pre-press department, putting together the pages that people in my department designed.

Gerry took great pride in altering a child trailer so that it would carry golf carts, and he often rode his recumbent to his regular golf games.

My thoughts and prayers are with Gerry.

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Roger 9 comments links to this post 4:38 PM

I guess the latest excuse is everyone fell asleep in the vehicle at the same time. I didn't see him must not be working any longer.
Let's not add ugly to tragedy. All three are good men and need our prayers. It was a terrible accident. I know them and it's tearing everyone up. Please pray, pray, pray.
I agree with the second anonymous comment. I don't understand what the first anonymous comment is talking about. 'Everyone?'...there were only two people in the truck and one of them was sleeping to begin with so there was no 'same time' to it. I actually happen to know all three of these people and know your comment would not be welcomed by any of them. This was an awful accident and has deeply impacted everyone involved. I suggest this blog be focused toward the hope that everyone recovers from this horrible incident.
I don't know who is right and who is wrong. The wrong part....I'm holding out to see what the police say. That is there job. Right now, every single thought in our brains ought to be focused in prayer or positive thoughts toward Gerry.....let the police figure out the other stuff.....let's focus positive energy towards Gerry
I have known Gerry since his days in the composing room at the News-Democrat, when he often spoke about his love of photography and his dream of becoming a full-time photographer. I got to know him much better and consider him a friend at the YMCA, where we often saw each other during workouts and talked cycling, what books we were reading and pondered life issues. He is one of the nicest, most decent people you could ever hope to meet, always ready with a smile and a friendly word.
This is a terrible tragedy, and Gerry is in my thoughts and prayers as he fights this battle.
Someone has to say this: At the very least, the driver of the truck that hit Gerry made a bad decision getting behind the wheel. If he was tired enough to fall asleep at the wheel, he should NEVER have gotten into that truck. It's not his life that has been, probably, changed forever. Let's all pray for Gerry.
Anxious for updates! Does anyone know about his condition?
last thing I heard was he was fighting pneumonia and an infection......I would like to hear more too.....I pray every day for him. Wondering if we can get Gerry's girlfriend to communicate with a central person that can maybe update us periodically. It would cut back on phone calls to his family..might make it easier on them too.
I am thinking no news...oh Tuesday is good news...I heard the pneumonia is being controlled. GO GERRY we love you!
for those that don't know

chiefgetwell.com lists updates on Gerry's condition
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