Young man riding bike for cochlear implants in serious crash short of goal
CENTRAL FLORIDA (WITI) – “Jacob’s Ride” is a journey that stretched more than 10,000 miles, and it has come to a scary end miles short of its destination. “Jacob’s Ride” went through Milwaukee in May, and was supposed to finish on Tuesday in Miami, but a serious incident abruptly ended it on a road in central Florida.
Jacob Landis started his ride back in April, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Since then, he has ridden more than 10,000 miles on his bike — stopping at 29 of the 30 Major League stadiums — all in an effort to raise money for cochlear implants.
In his final leg, just 170 miles from the ride’s conclusion, Jacob’s Ride is over.
On Saturday night, September 21st, Amy Boehler was packing her suitcase, and that of her son, Dylan — getting ready for a trip to meet up with Landis.
“We were thrilled to just be meeting up with Jacob again. We could hardly wait to see him,” Boehler said.
The Boehler’s met Landis in May when he was riding his bicycle through Milwaukee and stopped at Miller Park.
Landis was riding to raise money for cochlear implants for people who cannot afford them.
“He’s an inspiration to a lot of people,” Boehler said.
Landis has inspired 10-year-old Dylan Boehler, who created a challenge of his own to help raise money for the cause.
“Really trying to help other people and people don’t have enough money for cochlear implants that they need,” Boehler said.
As of Saturday, Landis had gone more than 10,000 miles and had stopped at 29 of the 30 stadiums.
“He set his mind out to this goal. And when he hopped on that bike in April he was going to finish it,” Boehler said.
Landis’ last stop was scheduled for Tuesday in Miami at Marlins Stadium.
“I got a phone call about 1:00 a.m. She said that Jacob had gotten struck by a semi tractor trailer truck down in the last final miles of his ride for the day,” Boehler said.
According to a spokesperson for the ride, Landis suffered a severe concussion, a broken nose, two small fractures on each cheekbone, a chipped tooth and other bumps and bruises.
“This is like the worst nightmare. This is what everybody dreaded all along,” Boehler said.
The truck reportedly did not stop after the incident.
“I want to believe in my heart that he’s not even aware that he hit Jacob,” Boehler said.
Boehler spoke with Landis’ family earlier Sunday. Because of his injuries, his ride ends just short of his goal.
“He made it 10,300 miles safely on the road, no injuries, no incidents with vehicles and 170 miles short,” Boehler said.
On Sunday, Landis sent FOX6 News a picture, showing his spirits are high and saying he will be in Miami on Tuesday for the ride’s finale, even if he won’t be getting there on his bike.
“I think Jacob is definitely not going to end with the ride. He might get off the bike. But his life path is headed in a whole new direction for him,” Boehler said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Department in Florida is investigating the accident.
Meanwhile, a celebration at Marlins Stadium will go on as planned on Tuesday, and the Boehlers will be there.