Aug 29, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
When Cory Sarich decided to go biking as part of his training regime on July 22, the unrestricted free agent was focused on getting in shape for the start of the 2014-15 campaign. His priorities have changed now, but he feels he has a lot to be thankful for even after what happened.
Sarich was riding on Windermere Loop Road when he got into an accident with a Ford F-350 truck that threatened his life.
“We’re going opposite directions and, no signal, he turns left,” Sarich told the Denver Post. “I’ve only got 15-20 meters (50-60 feet) and he’s right there in front of me, and taking up the whole road and going super slow and I’m breaking as hard as I can. Someone said I left about a 15-20 foot skid mark — I haven’t been back there to see — and I was going to impact the side of his truck, and I ended up going off to the side and over my handlebars, landing on the left side of my body.”
Sarich fell between the truck’s front and rear tires as the elderly driver continued forward, running him over with a rear tire. He broke five vertebra and sustained a deep head wound, road rash, and a burnt wrist. As the truck impacted him, he thought he would die and although he miraculously he managed to stand after being run over, he knew that his injuries were serious.
“I was really having trouble breathing, feeling woozy and feeling like I was going to go down,” Sarich recalled. “That was the most pain I have ever experienced.”
He was airlifted to the hospital and while he’s recovering, he still has a long road ahead of him. He’s not sure if his hockey career is over, but he doesn’t hold a grudge against the man that hit him. He also appreciates what he has despite what he’s been through.
“It’s amazing how an accident like this puts things in perspective,” Sarich said.
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