Delray Medical Center honors Fire Engine 42 & 45 during Call of the QuarterMay 23, 2018
DELRAY BEACH —Roy McCarty calls it a blessing not that he was hit by a car, but where.
The crash occurred in front of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Station No. 42. The 77 year-old was out for a bike ride at 5 a.m. March 6 when he was struck by a driver who had fallen asleep.
Crews at Station 42 were able to stabilize McCarty before another truck returned to take him from Hagen Ranch Road west of the city to Delray Medical Center.
On Tuesday, the retired math and science teacher met the six firefighters and EMS responders who took care of him directly after the crash and thanked them.
“It’s just amazing, the care they gave,” McCarty said at Delray Medical Center as he held up his broken carbon-fiber wheel, which was in four pieces.
“I have a hard time looking around (at the EMS team) without crying because it means so much.”
McCarty does a 20-mile ride every morning at 5 a.m. He has a goal of riding 22,000 miles, or a trip around the world. Prior to March, he was only 2,500 miles away.
After the crash, McCarty was hospitalized for nearly 11 weeks for his injuries — a fractured spine, a punctured lung and all but two ribs fractured, to name a few.
Capt. Matthew Ritter was on the scene when the crash occurred. He said Tuesday that neither the driver nor McCarty believed they had been in a wreck. The firefighters could tell it was a crash based on the broken wheel and Roy’s missing shoes, which flew off, Ritter said.
Ritter and his team stabilized Roy’s spine and kept him warm until the other rescue team arrived minutes later. He said based on Roy’s age and the nature of the crash, they knew “time was money.”
Ritter said that while he was flattered that he and his team were being honored with the medical center’s “Call of the Quarter” award for EMS teams, he didn’t expect recognition or a plaque.
“We wouldn’t have responded any other way,” Ritter said. “This is just icing on the cake.”
McCarty, who taught at schools for U.S. military families in Germany, said it was his wife, Diane, not him, who had the hardest time during the recovery process.
“In less than one minute from his accident, someone was with him,” Diane, with whom Roy will be celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary next month, said while choked up. “He was never alone.”