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Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Helmet saves motorcyclist's life

State honors Mendon man

By Sydney Albert

Bruce Rickard stands with his Saved by the Helmet Award and trophy helmet from t. . .

MENDON - As warm weather returns and motorcyclists make their way back onto the roads, local enthusiast Bruce Rickard has three words for his fellow bikers: wear your helmet.
Last June, Rickard was saved by his helmet after a semitrailer backed into him. He had come to a stop about 10 feet behind the truck on U.S. 33 at the intersection with U.S. 127 when, for reasons he still doesn't know, the driver put the big rig into reverse. When Rickard realized what was happening, he tried to get off his motorcycle, but the truck collided with the front of his bike.
The impact tore his shoulder in three places, and his leg was pinned under the bike.
"I must've said about seven or eight prayers," Rickard said.
He estimates he was pushed back about 150 feet before the driver stopped. Rickard remembers Motor Inn Truck Stop patrons running out to wave down the driver.
Rickard was in recovery for 10 months before he was cleared to return to work at Walmart in Van Wert, but he knows that without his safety gear, he might never have returned at all.
"The helmet helped, but I know God's the one that saved me," he said.
Rickard received the Saved by the Helmet Award from the Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Ohio division on Wednesday, receiving a certificate and a special yellow helmet. The purpose of the Saved by the Helmet Club is to increase public awareness about the life-saving value of motorcycle helmets by recognizing survivors of serious traffic crashes who were wearing a helmet, according to Motorcycle Ohio information.
He may always wear a helmet, but he knows several riders who don't. In Ohio, only riders younger than 18 years old or those with a "novice" designation on their motorcycle license are required to wear helmets. As Rickard was interviewed on the street near his motorcycle, he pointed out several bikers who rode by without helmets. He encourages others to wear their safety gear, even if it isn't required by law.
Despite the accident, Rickard said he wanted to get back onto the bike as soon as possible. He's been riding motorcycles for 38 years, ever since he was 16 years old, and he doesn't plan to stop anytime soon. He was finally cleared to ride again this April, but he'll be wearing a regular helmet instead of the special yellow one presented by Motorcycle Ohio - that one will be a trophy, he said.
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