Long road to recovery for injured cyclist

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 12:39pm

BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) — Chris Waltman got the call at 1:00 in the morning.

"I missed the call, but as soon as I saw it was from his mom, I knew that something was wrong," he says.

His best friend of 23 years, Danny Morris, was sent to the hospital Saturday night in critical condition.

"I don't think that gives just how much gravity of how much damage has actually been done to Danny," Chris says. "Unless you walk in there and look at him right now, you know, people don't realize that he's hurt so badly."

Danny was one of two cyclists hit by a drunk driver on Perkins Road over the weekend. The other cyclist, Nathan Crowson, was killed instantly. Now, Danny is in a medically induced coma.

After hours of waiting in the hospital, Chris got some grim news.

"The doctor's sitting here telling you things that you don't really understand and you're trying to understand," Chris says. "And the more it sinks in the more you know, I had to sit down because i couldn't believe what I was hearing. My friend might never walk again."

Danny's femur disconnected from his hip and his pelvis is separated. He has injuries to his tail bone and his spine, and his ankle is broken in two places.

Now, Chris wants something to be done.

"What's the problem?" he asks. "Why can't we just move these sidewalks over a little bit and give people that ride bicycles some breathing room?"

It's not just the infrastructure he says needs to change, its the attitudes of people on the road.

"You're driving one or two tons of metal down the road at 50 miles per hour or faster," he says. "You just have to pay attention."

He hopes what happens to his best friend won't happen to anyone else.

"It just seems in these situations, it's always the good people that are on the losing end of it. I'm so tired of seeing that."

Danny has lost a lot of blood. If you want to help out, you can go to Our Lady of the Lake and donate blood in Danny's name. This will help hospital workers replenish the supply.

Danny's having surgery Wednesday. We'll have an update on his condition as soon as he gets out of surgery.

Cyclists throughout the Capitol Area say they'll be riding Friday to remember victim Nathan Crowson and to honor Danny Morris.

It's an event called Critical Mass that's held on the last Friday of every month.

The event is designed to bring attention to the way cyclists are treated by drivers.

This Friday, the group will be meeting at the clock tower at LSU at 5:30 p.m. and will ride at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, check out http://www.facebook.com/pages/Critical-Mass-Baton-Rouge/117389634985903

Danny is a co-worker here at Fox44 and NBC33. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family during this difficult time.


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