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really close community of riders, who really enjoy riding together and taking on these challenges together,” Entwistle said.
Duane Roth is an experienced bicyclist who has been riding for “eight or 10 years,” and has participated in at least two previous Million Dollar Challenge Rides, according to his brother Ted.
“My brother Byron rode with him and said Duane was always very aggressive going uphill, but he was cautious going downhill,” Ted Roth said. “He’s in better shape than most 20-year-olds.”
The road was smooth and the weather was good at the time of the accident, Entwistle said. Yet Duane Roth lost control on a downhill curve, and slammed into the sloping embankment along the side of the road. She described the embankment as “typical hard pack, dirt mixed with rock,” and said it was characteristic of embankments formed when a road is cut into a hillside.
Roth’s helmet was broken by the impact. “It’s hard to know exactly what happened,” said Roy Perkins, senior director of marketing for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“There were riders in close proximity, but there wasn’t anybody who could say, ‘I saw the whole thing happen,’” Entwistle said. Among the riders who stopped was a doctor with UC San Diego, who was not identified, and paramedics were immediately called. Roth was rushed by helicopter to the UCSD hospital in Hillcrest, where he underwent emergency surgery.
“We’re really praying and hoping for a speedy recovery,” Perkins said. “We’re just very thankful to his fellow riders, and the emergency teams, and everyone else who helped. We just want to express our huge gratitude and appreciation.”
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