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Biker seeks good Samaritan who saved him

He was helped after crash 25 years ago

By Geoff Oldfather
The Stuart News
Posted May 14 2005

STUART · The stars were bright pinpricks of light in a pitch-black sky the night Russ Buhl lay crushed and bleeding on the bank of the Indian River Lagoon a few miles south of Fort Pierce.

His Honda Gold Wing motorcycle lay in a heap beside Indian River Drive, where it came to rest after Buhl failed to negotiate a curve.

It was 2 a.m. on May 17, 1980, and for the first time in his life Buhl thought of dying.

The fact that he didn't is credit to a good Samaritan whom he never got to thank. A quarter-century later, he'd like to change that.

Two hours before the crash, Buhl, 36 at the time, had planned to meet his girlfriend in Stuart.

But by the time he got to the house where she was staying, the lights were out.

He decided to take a midnight drive.

"I don't know how long I was conscious or how long I wasn't," Buhl said.

"I remember waking up and taking my helmet off and telling myself that I'd better get out of here, and I tried to move and every time I moved my left leg I heard this slushy sound."

Both his hips were crushed; he had two broken vertebrae in his back, and his left leg was broken so badly the bone was sticking out.

As he began to pass out for what he thought was the final time, Buhl said a prayer.

And 10 seconds later he heard a car and then someone walking over to inspect his damaged motorcycle.

So badly hurt he couldn't cry out for help, Buhl slipped into unconsciousness as the passerby drove away.

"That's the last thing I remember until flood lights came on," Buhl said.

"The whole area where I was was illuminated with floodlights.

"Someone saw my bike on the side of the road and went and got help."

About three weeks later, while he was still in the hospital, his girlfriend, Wendy, tried to get the name of the good Samaritan.

But the ambulance crew didn't have a name, and over the next 25 years Buhl put the whole thing behind him.

Now that he's retired, he volunteers to speak to school children about the dangers of drinking and smoking.

A couple of weeks ago, he was talking about his accident with students at Murray Middle School when a boy raised his hand and said "`Hey Russ, did you ever find out who called and saved your life' and I said, `Gee, I haven't thought about that in a long time,'" Buhl said.

1,812 Posts
very cool but you'd think he would have tried sooner to find the guy or gal, they may be dead by now.
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