It is now five days since Camille Savoy's terrible crash on Route 9W and some clues as to the nature of the incident are slowly coming out.
Although no official word on the cause of the accident has been issued by the Bergen County prosecutor's office, and officials at the Hackensack University Medical Center where Savoy is being treated have not upgraded his condition, friends who have visited his bedside are providing key information about his condition and the man himself.
Although not confirmed by the Alpine Police, the driver is said to be a 71-year-old woman, and by all indications, she struck Savoy from behind, sending him through her windshield. Based on the severities of the injuries to his head--he was wearing a helmet--it appears he may have gone over the top of the car and struck his head again, said a friend, Van Gothner. Some have theorized that based on the condition of his bike, he may also have been run over by again by another car.
Savoy's condition is still quite dire and he continues to be treated in a medically-induced coma. The injuries to his head are the most severe, and are cause for concern among the medical team, who without an accident report, have not been able to determine the exact cause of his head injuries.
Savoy also sustained fractures to his spine, a broken ankle, and other injuries, and remains on a ventilator.
Medical personnel at Hackensack are waiting for his body to repair to the point where he can brought out of a coma, said Gothner, who visited him today. "It's wait and see," he noted.
Two of Savoy's five sisters have come to the area to see him. His elderly mother lives in Paris, and is not well enough to travel, and his father is deceased.
Many of Savoy's friends, some of whom are located in a community in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, are coming to the area and will be seeking places to stay among the cycling community.
Savoy's Cape Cod friends are also the locus for Best Buddies International, a program that Savoy belongs to that encourages the social integration of persons who have intellectual disabilities and was founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the son of Eunice Mary Kennedy, and brother of Maria Shriver (wife of California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger). The group is known to use bike riding as a fund-raising medium.
Among his friends Savoy is known as an avid bike rider who would go out every day for a ride when he vacationed with them. He had recently bought a new bike, said friends.
Savoy was born in Senegal, and grew up in Paris. He is a jewelry designer and has designed a number of pieces for Tiffany and Co., but his core business is one-off pieces said Gothner.
Meanwhile words of sympathy co-mingled with a sense of burning outrage over the accident, and heated posts between what appears to be one or two drivers posting to BBB, and cyclists, took sides on the car vs. cyclist debate.
But the words of support for Savoy, a man whom many of us have never met, but whose destiny could well have been our own, and whose life now hangs in the balance and in our hearts, have drowned out the debates.
Cards (not flowers) can be sent to the hospital at: The Hackensack University Medical Center, Patient Camille Savoy, 30 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601, tel: 201-996-2000.
Those people who think they might have a room or a bed for family and/or friends to visit for a few days should email Jbenepe@msn.com and the information will be passed on to his friends.
Please note the following corrections were made on Nov. 15 to this post: Savoy's community of friends are from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not Maine; and two of his five sisters are currently visiting.