It was October 11th, 2001 when 13 year old Nathan Fulk was riding his bike down Gilmore Rd. in Clarkson, NY. This two lane residential road with no sidewalks had always been a concern in the town with children riding bicycles. Fulk had been riding with his back to oncoming traffic. That is the last thing he remembers before being hit by a pick-up truck and being knocked unconscious. He doesn’t remember what happened next.
After the accident, Fulk recounted his story with various witnesses and pieced together the story. Although he had a concussion, he had woken up bleeding in a ditch with his helmut shattered beside him. Thankfully, the driver stopped and tended to the 13 year old who had been knocked into the ditch and was bleeding. Fulk says, “I was coherent enough to tell him my name, address, and phone number.” His mother was immediately notified and 911 was reached.
Fulk was rushed to Strong Hospital in Rochester, NY. He had fractured his left femur. The doctors suggested a full-body cast but instead they took two titanium rods and put them into the marrow and held the bone together. Fulk spent one week in the hospital and was very concerned with the fact that he was going to be missing school. He wanted to let someone know but the only number he remembered post-concussion was his ex-girlfriend. He left a message about the accident and mentioned that he would not be in class for a while. However, he left no name. The girl thought it was a prank until she found out when he returned to school.
Fulk spent six months in a wheel chair and another three months on crutches. He had to completely relearn how to walk, spending months in physical therapy. His science teacher loved to tease him that he looked like “Tiny Tim” to the point of aggravation. His feeble image helped the town accomplish something that had been a concern for a long time. Fulk’s mother took him to a town meeting and there was a discussion about the safety of Gilmore Rd. Shortly after, sidewalks were put in to reduce the risk of accidents.
Nathan Fulk is from Brockport, NY. He is currently a 21 year old senior studying English at the University at Buffalo.