First Selectman Recovering from Bike Accident
First Selectman Matt Hoey was injured in a bike mishap over the July 30 weekend while biking at Meigs Point at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison. Hoey suffered six broken ribs but credits his helmet and bystanders for preventing more grievous injuries.
An avid bicyclist, Hoey said he rides 40 to 50 miles a week in good weather on his road bike and had decided to make one of his favorite trips to Madison. Hoey explained that he was injured as he tried to get out of the way of a SUV.
“I was headed out for a long ride, out to Meigs Point and back, about a 22 mile ride,” said Hoey “I was in the park and looking forward to getting to Meigs Point and having a bit of water. I was going at a good clip and then I saw a car parked on the side of the road.”
Hoey said he was attempting to pass the vehicle on the left side, when the driver pulled out without seeing him. Hoey said he tried to slow down and cut back behind the SUV but didn’t quite pull it off.
“I went to turn right and started to slow down. Then I think he saw me in the rearview mirror, he stopped. If he had continued to keep going, I think it would’ve been okay, but when he stopped I just had gotten my bike parallel with his back bumper but ended up just catching the rear end of the car,” Hoey said.
Hoey said he actually felt lucky not to have been more seriously injured.
‘Fortunately, I was wearing my helmet,” Hoey said. “I always wear it when I ride, so I did not hit my head nor did I hit my left shoulder, which I had replaced about 20 months ago. Bad news is I did have six fractured ribs and some scrapes, but I feel lucky it was not worse. I think I probably should have slowed down more than I did when I saw the car. A hard lesson to learn.”
Hoey had great praise for everyone involved, including bystanders who helped him and all of the emergency personnel who responded to the incident.
“They were all terrific. I can’t say enough about all of the folks who helped out. I also can’t say enough about the folks who came upon the accident and helped me,” Hoey said. “Everybody, including the young couple in the car, all reacted and were quite attentive to me. But that is the way that people react in our communities. People in Guilford and Madison react and help, that’s the way we are. The park EMTs and the Madison Ambulance Service were great.”
Hoey was transported to Shoreline Medical Center on Goose Lane in Guilford, and he said he is already on the road to recovery.
“I almost immediately knew I had done something significant. The folks at Goose Lane clinic were tremendous as well. Everyone provided excellent care. They were very attentive and also were great at keeping me informed,” said Hoey. “At the end of the day, there’s unfortunately not a lot you can do with broken ribs, you just have to let them heal. Fortunately however, I have had great support from my wife Cheryl, who spent her entire career in nursing, and my middle daughter happens to be back home for a month, so I am getting great support at home. Also, great support from my friends who have reached out, and also well-wishes from the community…That has been wonderful.”
Despite the pain, Hoey was still working remotely this past week and vowed to be back at work at Town Hall on Aug. 8.
“I was able to do a bit of work from home this past week, participating in some Zoom meetings,” Hoey said. “I fully expect being back in the office on Monday. I’ve been through this before, and it I have plenty of help and support and I hope to be back on my bike soon.”