Among the birthday cards in Carl Schoedel’s Geneva home, are get well cards.
The Kane County transit director was riding his bicycle to work last week on Route 64 in St. Charles when a car struck him from behind.
"I thought, well, that’s a lousy birthday present," he said.
Asked what he remembers about the March 12 accident, he simply says "the impact."
"And then I was out," he said.
Schoedel spent more than 10 hours in the emergency room.
He suffered a concussion and neck injury, but it wasn’t until he saw his mangled bike and shattered helmet that reality set in.
"When I saw helmet that’s when it hit me how lucky I was," he said.
The Kane County sheriff’s office says the 16-year-old driver who hit Schoedel didn’t scrape the frost off of his windshield because he was running late for school.
The teen said he thought he hit a mailbox and didn’t stop until he crossed the center line and hit a tree, police said.
Schoedel said he's not angry with the boy, though. Hbelieves his accident teaches two important lessons.
"If you’re a bike, be responsible, wear helmet," he said. "Be a safe driver and clean the car before you drive it."
He hopes to back on his bike sometime soon and says he has a new respect for the road.
"That could have been end," he said.
The driver was cited for not clearing his windshield and not reporting a crash.