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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gerry Frierdich in the news

Previews for The Gerry Frierdich Road to Recovery Bicycle Ride appeared this week in two Illinois papers.

Teri Maddox of Belleville News-Democrat wrote an excellent preview of the ride in Thursday's edition of the paper.

"I can't believe how many people are coming out of the woodwork to donate money to me," Gerry told the News-Democrat. "It's crazy."

Gerry hopes to get back on the road soon with a hand-powered bicycle or "handcycle." He sees the chances of getting into another accident as minimal.

"If I would have been out there 10 minutes earlier or 10 minutes later, (the August accident) wouldn't have happened," Gerry told the News-Democrat. "It was a guy who fell asleep at the wheel, and he just plowed into me. What can you do to avoid that? Nothing. You've got to get back on the horse, so to speak."

The St. Clair Journal, part of the Suburban Journals chain of newspapers in the St. Louis area, published a feature on Wednesday about the ride.

Reporter Aaron Sudholt did an interview with Gerry, in which he revealed that even though his neck was broken in the Aug. 19, 2007, accident, his spinal column was not completely severed and that the swelling in his neck may go down enough that he could walk again.

"I'm taking it day by day," he said. "I literally don't know what I'll be able to do. There's a possibility a year from now I could be walking, but I don't know."

That article also notes that
Keith J. McCoy, 23, the man who drove the truck that struck Gerry, will be facing a pre-trial hearing June 19. McCoy is charged in St. Clair County Circuit Court with two felony counts of Aggravated Driving under the Influence.

(Note: This post is an update version of a post that originally appeared Wednesday, May 28.)

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