Cyclist begins road to recovery after being struck by tree

June 20, 2013 9:07:30 PM PDT
A Raleigh man is beginning a long road to recovery after a tree fell on him during a storm last week.

David Lawrence remains in the hospital recovering from surgery after the freak accident that severely injured him.

It happened on Darian Drive. Lawrence, an avid cyclist since childhood, was riding a block away from home when the weather turned nasty.

"There was a swirl of wind that was not normal," said Lawrence. "So I turned around and said 'I just better go home.' Then, I saw a tree snap to the left then I pushed up, probably went a little quicker and then got whacked."

An Oak tree snapped and pinned him between huge branches and his bike. The force not only smashed Lawrence's bike, but broke an arm, leg, ribs and vertebrae. He even suffered a collapsed lung.

"I remember being stuck. I'm checking everything and watching. Watching my fingers over there, screaming, yelling, trying to catch air," said Lawrence. "Moaning, yelling, 'Please get me out of here, somebody cut me out of here.'"

Lawrence's rescue and recovery might not have been possible without Mark Stewart's call to 911.

"Mark got me right away," said Lawrence. "I just think it took him a while to get 911 there."

Lawrence says before the tree fell, Stewart, who was a passing stranger, sensed something could happen. When Stewart drove by, he waited, saw the tree fall, and doubled back to help.

"I thank him very much for coming to find me because if not I might not have made it," said Lawrence. "I've got to thank God. I have to thank all of my friends. The outpouring of everybody has been unbelievable and my wife has been unreal. You have to have somebody looking out for you."

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