D10 Fundraises for Victim of Bicycle Crash
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Zac Ford, a Fort Worth, Texas, resident, was a victim of a hit and run while riding his bicycle in early August. In the aftermath, Ford suffered a concussion, road rash all over his face and body, and got stitches in his lower leg. Many people may have read this story in the newspaper and felt a sudden urge to help this man, and that's exactly what Dallas/Fort Worth TRACON (D10) member Victoria Harville did.
"This tragedy upset me so much," said Harville. "First of all my kids are in their 20s, and my son, Jared, was in a motorcycle accident when interning in India. So I think some of it was a motherly instinct reaction, but I'm also very aware of safety because I'm an air traffic controller. I really took it to heart and it just saddened me."
After reaching out to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter for more information on Ford, Harville rallied up her NATCA brothers and sisters to help raise money to buy a new bike for Ford since his old one was destroyed in the collision and, in fact, was his only mode of transportation.
"We [Ford and Harville] went back and forth emailing one another and overtime, we developed a relationship," said Harville. "He was blown away by the amount of people at D10 that wanted to help him get a new bike."
Harville wasn't sure how many people would help, but the support she received from D10 was overwhelming. She told members they had 10 days to raise money in time for a bicycle safety awareness benefit, Share the Road Fort Worth, on behalf of Ford. Together, Harville and the facility raised $875, just two dollars shy of the new bike that was to be purchased for Ford.
Although the bike was not quite ready for the event, D10 members were able to present a gift certificate that promised one bike from Switching Gears Cyclery.
The event itself had an amazing turnout with nearly 300 people in attendance. Half of those attendees participated in a bike ride on the route Ford had his accident. Harville and her daughter, Deserea, biked with the group, and although she had a tire blowout halfway through, she learned a lot from the instructors along the way.
"They had bicycle instructors who rode along the route to talk about bike safety tips such as what to be aware of when sharing the road with cars," said Harville. "We have so many bikers today with gas prices up and our tough economy that I think people need to be more aware of these situations."
Zac Ford and Victoria Harville
In his blog, The Pondering Cyclist, Ford talks about the difficulty he had in accepting the help and support of so many individuals, but was also grateful for the attention it brought to bicycle safety. He has now partnered with Bike Texas to further advocate bicycle safety:
"Now, Bike Texas and Share the Road Fort Worth are working together to raise money and awareness for cyclists and cycling in and around our cities. With the way that things are going more and more towns and cities will allocate more funds to bicycle infrastructure. More people are going to turn to bicycles not only for health and recreation but transportation."