Cory Sarich describes life-threatening bike accident: Helmet 'helped in saving my life'

Aug 27, 9:42 AM

On July 21, defenseman Cory Sarich was involved in a bike accident that very nearly cost him his life. 

According to the Calgary Herald, Sarich was biking near his summer home in British Columbia when he skidded underneath a pickup truck that failed to signal a left-hand turn; the truck's right rear tire drove over his back, nearly crushing his body. As a result, Sarich "suffered five cracked vertebrae, burns on his shoulder and wrist from the truck’s muffler, a swollen left arm and leg, a large laceration on his head and a serious case of road rash."

Sarich recalled the incident:

The first thing in my mind was, ‘I’m not going to die here right now, so let’s get this thing moving.' I wasn’t sure the severity of my injuries. I’d worn all the ends of my fingertips off. I was bleeding from everywhere, I had so much road rash. My helmet was busted up in probably seven or more pieces. It was just in pieces hanging by the chinstrap and was actually choking me, so good thing I had that on because it helped in saving my life.

Sarich was airlifted to a local hospital, and said he's recovering as well as can be expected. “My diagnosis was, pretty much, as good as it gets ...  a bit of a mess, but I'm doing well now. It’s been four-and-a-half weeks and it’s been a slow recovery.” 

He added that he plans on keeping the helmet as a "teaching aid" but is unlikely to bike again.

As far as his hockey career goes, the 36-year-old father of three admits he's taking things day-by-day at this point.

Something like that kind of makes you rearrange your priorities. My agent obviously had made some calls and I was busy living a normal life again. I was just starting to golf again, working out, riding the bike, running, all that stuff. This has thrown a big wrinkle into it and I don’t know what’s going to happen. But right now, my priority is to get healthy. I want to get myself back in shape regardless if hockey is an option moving forward. I’m just going to play it by ear from here.

The unrestricted free agent said he is touched by the outpouring of support he received from former teammates and coaches.

Feature photo courtesy of Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports

Jul 25, 11:18 PM

Cory Sarich provides positive update following cycling crash

Jul 25, 11:18 PM

Free agent defenseman Cory Sarich took to Twitter Friday to update the hockey world of his condition since breaking multiple vertebrae in a cycling crash. 

The 15-year veteran appeared in 54 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season.

Jul 23, 8:37 PM

Cory Sarich expecting to make 'full recovery,' resume NHL career following cycling accident

Jul 23, 8:37 PM

The Colorado Avalanche released a message on behalf of injured defenseman Cory Sarich following news that he had suffered multiple broken vertebrae and a severe case of road rash in a cycling accident on Monday.

Via Mike Chambers of The Denver Post:

Veteran NHL defenceman Cory Sarich was injured in a cycling accident while training in Invermere, BC, on the morning of Monday, July 21, 2014. Sarich was struck by a motor vehicle and was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary, AB. 

He is in stable condition and his injuries are not considered life-threatening. The full extent of his injuries and the timeline for his recovery and return to the NHL is unclear.

“It’s been a rough couple of days and I’m grateful for the support I’ve been receiving from the medical team here and from family and friends” said Sarich. “My wife Reagan and I appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement.”

Sarich expects to make a full recovery and to resume his NHL career. 

He will not be available for further comment, but will provide more information, when available, via his twitter account @sarchy06.

Sarich is currently an unrestricted free agent, with 969 games with the Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres on his resume.

Jul 23, 7:48 PM

Veteran defenseman Cory Sarich suffers 'multiple broken vertebrae' in cycling accident

Jul 23, 7:48 PM

Vetern NHL defenseman and unrestricted free agent Cory Sarich remains in a Calgary hospital following a cycling accident that left him with multiple broken vertebrae and a severe case of road rash, according to CTV News.

The accident occurred Tuesday in the resort town of Invermere, British Columbia, and Sarich was airlifted to Calgary, over 170 miles away.

Sarich spent six seasons with the Flames prior to joining the Colorado Avalanche in 2013.

Several teammates have reached out to him via Twitter:

Feature photo courtesy of Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports

Jul 23, 4:47 PM

Report: Free agent defenseman Cory Sarich hospitalized after cycling accident

Jul 23, 4:47 PM

Veteran defenseman Cory Sarich was involved in a cycling accident and is currently in hospital with unspecified injuries, according to Adrian Dater of the The Denver Post.

The 35-year-old took to Twitter on Wednesday to offer the following message:

Sarich appeared in 969 games over the course of 15 NHL seasons, and won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.

He recorded one goal and nine assists in 54 games for the Colorado Avalanche in 2013-14, and his two-year, $4-million contract with the team expired on June 30.