Months after critical bike accident, former Kauai police chief remains on the mend

Months after critical bike accident, former Kauai police chief remains on the mend
Former Kauai Police Department chief Darryl Perry, during an interview with Hawaii News Now prior to his retirement. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s been just more than two months since Kauai’s former police chief was involved a bicycle accident that left him hospitalized with broken bones up and down his body.

Darryl Perry spent 11 years with the Kauai Police Department, moving to the Garden Isle after a distinguished career as a police officer in Honolulu.

In an interview with Hawaii News Now on Thursday, Perry said he ramped up his interest in competitive cycling in his retirement after moving to Hawaii Island last August. He says he was starting to get serious about road racing and had been getting into good shape doing time trial training.

Perry says he was in the middle of a two-mile time trial, riding his bike south on Highway 11, when someone driving a car made a left turn onto the highway from an adjacent street and collided with the left side of his body.

“(The driver) must have swung really wide, because he nailed me really good,” Perry said.

The crash left Perry’s body in shambles. He suffered 11 broken ribs, fractured both his collarbone and shoulder blade and endured the pain of a crushed sternum. His lungs collapsed twice, and doctors say he’s stopped breathing twice since the accident.

The head trauma was severe. He was treated for bleeding in his brain and still suffers from issues with double-vision that he’s not sure will ever be fully resolved.

“I’ll be going to physical therapy pretty soon, and then I’ll be going to an ophthalmologist, a neuro-ophthalmologist, and they’ll see what’s happened to my vision," Perry said. “As long as I can get my vision back, it’ll be okay.”

Perry says he doesn’t remember everything from the crash, and doesn’t recall being medevaced from the Big Island to Queen’s Medical Center.

While he was hospitalized, Perry says his wife slept in a chair next to his bed for the better part of a month. Because of the trauma the crash put her through, Perry says he’s promised that he’ll never bike again ― even though he’s still open to advocating for bicycle safety on roadways.

“I’d be more than happy to do that," Perry says. "But sometimes you just can’t control what other people do on the road, so you have to be very, very careful and make sure you know what you’re doing when you’re cycling on the roadway.”

Though he doesn’t have any lingering anger about what happened to him, Perry says he wishes the driver who hit him had been a little more careful behind the wheel.

“The outcome would have been certainly different," Perry says. "So I’m disappointed in his action, but nonetheless that’s the way it is and we move on from there.”

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