Lifted by Kindness

Liz Brannan
Black Forest, CO

My story took place in Kansas on Interstate 70. It was September 4th, 2014, and I was riding a Harley Electra-Glide Classic. I was by myself and in a hurry, trying to make it to Hays to take a conference call.

I had just passed a group of cars when my motorcycle developed a front-end wobble. I did what I had been taught to do, but the wobble escalated into an oscillation, and then a tank slap. A tank slap is when the handlebars of a bike turn sharply enough to hit the gas tank.

Needless to say, the bike and I went down. I don’t remember hitting the interstate, but I remember rolling. According to the State Trooper who responded, I rolled 475 feet from where the bike hit the road.

When I stopped rolling, I was face down with the left white stripe by my left hand. I was still in the road. I heard the cars I had just passed approaching. Afraid cars would be dodging bike parts and not see me, I rolled over one more time and off the road. The first car slowed as it passed me. Before it even stopped, the passenger was out the door, running back to me. She had already called 911 and was talking to the operator as she got to me. She was calm as she relayed that I was awake and talking. Shortly after she gotsp to me, the next two cars stopped. While some helped take care of me, others gathered my possessions and bike parts off the highway.

Lifted by KindnessThese people stood in the very hot Kansas sun, talking to me and keeping me calm. They found my phone and purse so I would have them at the hospital. When I had too much sun on raw arms they found a blanket and umbrella. They stood in the sun making shade for me.

As I heard the ambulance approach and realized my leathers would be cut off, I panicked and tried to get up. These strangers calmed me down and figured out how to unzip my leather overalls without allowing me to move, so the ambulance attendants wouldn’t cut them off.

The kindness of ordinary people didn’t stop there. About 10 pm, I was in a trauma center when I realized I needed my insulin pump supplies that were still with the motorcycle. My son called the owner/operator of the tow truck company that had hauled my bike off, and explained I really had to have the contents of my saddle bags that night. This
kind man left his house, drove back to his yard, and placed the contents of the bike where my son would be able to get them. It took him almost an hour of his family time. He didn’t have to. He could have said no.

People stopped what they were doing and delayed where they were going to help a complete stranger. They didn’t have to. They got no recognition. They got no thanks. I don’t even know their names. I was, and I am, lifted up knowing there are people who will take care of a stranger when the stranger can’t care for themselves.

Originally published as HeroicStories #888 on Dec 2, 2016

4 thoughts on “Lifted by Kindness”

  1. I love this story! I was recently in a nasty car accident and experienced the same kindness from strangers. I wasn’t badly hurt but badly shook and disoriented. A volunteer firefighter and EMT had seen the accident and stopped to check me out to make sure I wasn’t hurt. I had a passenger with me who was uninjured and helped to collect information from those involved. The proprietors of the bed and breakfast (where my car eventually came to rest) offered water and phone and concern. Even the very stoic highway patrolman called a tow truck for me when it was hard for me to concentrate. People are truly kind and amazing.

  2. Bravo for the kindness of strangers……….what a warm and caring story. If everyone would play the same concern and thoughtfulness of others forward our world would be a lot more accepting of each other. Thank you for publishing such uplifting stories. So nice to hear about the good in others.

  3. I was out for a ride one night and hit a slick spot, laid my bike down, then slid and tumbled for what seemed hundreds of feet. I wound up in the middle of the street facing traffic which luckily had stopped. People stopped on a busy highway next to the street where I went down, ran through a water-filled ditch, and helped me. Without their help I could not have gotten my bike upright or pushed to the side. I don’t know who they were, and with my injuries I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask, but I know they were angels sent from somewhere that night. I hope they know how much I appreciate their help when I needed it.


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