Greg Kampf glanced into his bicycle mirror and saw a Dodge truck barreling toward him.
It was the last thing he saw, the Lompoc Unified superintendent said, before his bicycle went flying off to the right and he ended up dazed and broken on the hot paved shoulder of a highway in Missouri.
“I don’t know what happened but he never slowed,” said Kampf, who was struck while on vacation July 17. “The bike went sailing off to the right. I didn’t know where the other vehicles were, and I didn’t know where on the roadway or off to the shoulder I was.”
Lying on the hot asphalt road in pain with a broken pelvis, ankle, and leg bone, Kampf frantically began waving his arms trying to ward off possible oncoming traffic as he lay helplessly on the ground.
Kampf will return to California on Saturday after spending two weeks rehabilitating from the injuries he sustained while bicycling from St. Louis to Omaha, Neb.
Kampf was reached by telephone from Rusk Rehabilitation Center in Columbia, Mo., on Thursday, where he has been receiving physical therapy treatment since July 24.
The rehabilitation has covered everyday tasks such as getting in and out of bed, taking a shower, and putting on a pair of socks.
Kampf was struck while riding his bike westbound on Highway 20, which is part of the historic Lewis and Clark Trail.
Kampf, who is currently wheelchair-bound, has been told that he cannot put any weight on his left ankle for about 90 days.
After returning home with his wife, Kampf said, he will spend the two weeks with relatives in San Luis Obispo and receive in-house medical care.
Then he will be re-evaluated by doctors and could possibly return to work.
“Because of the surgery and recovery from surgery, my skills are limited on self-care and my strength is also limited from surgery,” Kampf said. “But going through these activities through support staff and giving 110 percent of what I’ve been asked to do and making this the absolute highest priority, I’ve done really well.”
Kampf said he has received cards and visits from friends of Lompoc Unified employees who happen to live in Missouri.
“It was real touching that not just one but two would do that,” Kampf said.
Kampf, who was treated at University Hospital in Columbia, said he feels fortunate that the injuries weren’t more serious.
“I am lucky that I didn’t have head injuries and I didn’t break either of my arms. It could have been a fatal accident very easily. It will take some time to heal, but I am going to be. Really, I am a lucky guy.”