CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A Chula Vista man is counting his blessings after a near-death cycling accident. Medics said if it weren't for the help of good Samaritans, he would not be here today.
On Thursday, March 4, 2021, 70-year-old Craig Dixon was on his usual morning bike ride. But this time, he didn't make it home.
"When I made that right-hand turn, my wheels went out from under me," Dixon said.
Slick roads caused him to wipe out on the corner of Eastlake Drive and Lakeshore Drive. But he had no memory of the crash.
"I just woke up in an ambulance on the way to the trauma center in Hillcrest," Dixon said.
Nurses told him he had a concussion, two brain bruises, multiple facial fractures, and lost a tooth and a half. They said that things would have been much worse if it wasn't for the quick call to 9-1-1, especially because he was on blood thinners.
Determined to find the person who helped him, Dixon reached out to the community on his Nextdoor app. Pretty soon, thousands of people posted prayers and encouraging messages. And within a week, he found Jose Herrero. The two reunited for the first time on zoom Tuesday morning.
That day, Herrero was driving home from his graveyard shift at UPS when he found Dixon in bad shape.
"I was approaching the stop sign, and he was on the ground laid out, and when I got out, I saw blood, so I ran over there," Herrero said.
He said he did not call 9-1-1, but was one of four people who stayed with him and kept him awake and talking until the ambulance arrived. He said he even found Dixon's missing tooth.
"It'll always touch my heart when I remember you and what you did because you didn't have to stop, but you did. So thank you," Dixon said to Herrero on the zoom call.
The touching reunion over zoom meant they could not give each other a hug. But it served as a sweet reminder that there is good in this world.
"In a time of such political division and sometimes we see so much hate, I'm really convinced there's more love than hate," Dixon said. "That was a beautiful thing to experience on a personal level."
Dixon said he appreciates everyone for their kind messages and actions. He hopes to recover quickly and get back on his bike by May.