Family of paralyzed motorcyclist reaches out for support

August 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
It began with a fiery motorcycle crash that nearly shut down Highway 24 in Oakland last Friday. And now the family of the man riding that motorcycle is speaking out. The man was an apparent victim of road rage and is now paralyzed.

The incident began just west of the Caldecott Tunnel. It is unclear what precipitated the events that followed but now, the life of Rich Fletcher has been changed forever and the driver who allegedly rammed him faces three felony charges, including hit and run and attempted murder.

"He said he was doing about 60 miles an hour and was hit way harder than the speed he was traveling," said Rich's daughter Alex Fletcher.

She still doesn't know how her father survived the accident.

"He said as soon as he got hit, on impact, he knew his back was broken because he couldn't flail in the air. And, once he hit the ground, he tried to get away said he couldn't move. He couldn't crawl away," she said.

The car that hit Fletcher at a high rate of speed drove away but the California Highway Patrol later caught up with it and shot the suspect.

The 47-year-old Fletcher now lays in a hospital bed in critical condition. His spine is severed and he's likely paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.

"I'm only thinking why him, you know, like, it could've been anybody else and it had to be my dad. I don't know. I don't understand," said the victim's son Jake Fletcher.

The suspected driver of the car that hit Fletcher is 32-year-old David Alcairo. He was shot by a CHP officer at Wilder Road in Orinda.

A Concord resident, Alcairo apparently pulled off the highway with a flat tire. The car had clear signs of damage in the front.

"No matter what you have to lose, or not. If you hit and run, it's just, especially injuries to that extent. You know when you hit somebody on a motorcycle, it's going to be, going to be bad," said family friend Tyler Parsons.

Fletcher is a building inspector and rode his motorcycle to and from work. Now, his family is trying to figure out how to help their dad deal with his injuries and the new life that lies ahead.

"The first thing he said is, 'I'm so sorry.' And he kept telling my mom and me how sorry he was that, that this happened because it's going to be really hard on our family," said Alex Fletcher.

Friends of Rich Fletcher have set up a website to help with his hospital and recovery expenses.


Load Comments