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Santa Rosa city worker credited in rescue finds he's tougher than he thought

  • Ed Bible, right describes himself as the guy who gets shaky when he has to visit hospitals, so uncomfortable do medical maladies make him. Yet on the afternoon of June 29, it was 50-year-old Bible who held professional cyclist Michael Torckler, left, on his side so he wouldn't choke on his own blood, who urged him to breath and told him to hang on until help came.

Ed Bible describes himself as the guy who has to sit down when visiting a hospital, so uncomfortable do medical maladies make him.

Yet on the afternoon of June 29, it was 50-year-old Bible who came upon a crushed and bleeding Michael Torckler, a professional cyclist and native of New Zealand who had been struck by a car while riding on steep, isolated Pine Flat Road above Alexander Valley.

It was Bible, two months removed from a half-day of CPR and first-aid training required of him as a Santa Rosa city employee, who turned Torckler on his side so he wouldn't choke on his own blood, who urged him to breathe and who told him to hang on until help came.

What Bible doesn't acknowledge is that help already was there.

"I definitely owe that guy my life," Torckler said this week as he prepared to fly home to New Zealand to further recover from injuries that include more than 15 facial and skull fractures, a broken arm, a broken hand and torn knee ligaments.

Torckler, who spent 12 days at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in the intensive-care and the acute-rehabilitation units, doesn't remember anything about the collision or what Bible did for him, but he knows the stranger's intervention likely saved his life.

The veteran city employee was just wrapping up maintenance work at the Mayacmas pump station on the Geysers pipeline about four miles up from where Pine Flat Road meets Highway 128 in Alexander Valley when he heard what he thought might be an accident involving heavy construction equipment nearby.

Then he heard two men shouting. Soon, a passer-by approached Bible to ask if he could call for help.

Unlike everyone else on that lonely stretch of road where cellphone service is spotty to nonexistent, Bible had access to a two-way radio in his Santa Rosa city maintenance truck.

He called 911.


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