TRINIDAD – Former Mayor and inveterate bicyclist Bob Ornelas was hit by a truck on Trinidad's Scenic Drive Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 29. The sideswipe collision left him with five broken ribs, a punctured lung and severely road-rashed left arm.
According to Mayor Susan Ornelas, his wife, Bob was solo riding along narrow Scenic Drive not far from Cher-Ae Heights Casino when he heard a truck approaching and pulled over to let it pass. But his bike hit a patch of mud and apparently became bogged down. At this point, he was either struck or snagged by the truck.
"I think maybe it grabbed onto his jersey," Susan said.
The truck's driver stopped to assist Bob and call for help. An acquaintance who works for Cal Fire happened to be passing by, and stopped and gave first aid. Susan said she was notified by Cher-Ae Heights' security department.
For now, Bob remains in the Mad River Community Hospital Intensive Care Unit due to his punctured lung.
Susan said physicians were impressed with 50-something Bob's hardiness, likely owing to his vigorous bicycling regimen. "They kept saying, 'Man, his vitals are fabulous,'" Susan said.
Bob doesn't want to be disturbed in ICU, but things are looking good for a speedy recovery, as the restless biker is already grousing about his forced grounding.
"If anything, he's a little ornery," Susan said.