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Canyon Country bicyclist injured in head-on crash with vehicle

Posted: December 24, 2012 11:32 a.m.
Updated: December 24, 2012 11:36 a.m.

This photo shows the bicycle involved in a head-on collision on Little Tujunga Road off Sand Canyon Road on Saturday.

 

A Canyon Country man was recuperating Monday in the intensive care unit at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital after a head-on collision between his bicycle and a vehicle.

Kevin Korenthal underwent nearly seven hours of surgery Sunday morning after the Saturday accident. He was airlifted to the hospital, said a spokesman with the California Highway Patrol.

Korenthal was injured while he was training for an upcoming triathlon, said his wife, Christine Korenthal.

She said he has many broken bones including his wrist, tibia, fibula, scapula, femur and suffered injuries to his neck and back.

Korenthal was riding his bicycle southbound on Little Tujunga Road, off Sand Canyon Road, just south of Truck Trail 5, at 10:25 a.m. Saturday, said Officer John Lutz with the CHP.  

Kalan Strauss, 16, of Canyon Country was driving northbound at around 40 mph when he entered a right curve in the road, according to the initial report taken at the scene.

Strauss lost control of the car, crossed the double yellow lines while braking, Lutz said. Although it was cloudy, the road was dry, Lutz said.

“The speed limit on the road is 55 mph, but it’s a tight turn and you have to slow down,” Lutz said adding that alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the collision.

As a result of the collision, Korenthal was ejected from his bike and struck the hood and windshield of Strauss’s car, he said. He then fell off and hit the dirt embankment of Little Tujunga Road.

“I’m pretty sure he landed on his head by looking at his dented helmet,” Christine Korenthal said. “But praise God there’s no damage to his spinal cord or head.”

An amputee, Korenthal was in another bicycle-auto accident on Pacific Coast Highway when he was 19 years old, his wife said. He broke his left leg, his femur, but suffered permanent damage resulting in him losing his leg below the knee 10 years ago, she said.

Doctors expect him to remain in the hospital for a minimum of one week, she said. The hospital already began physical therapy with Korenthal Monday afternoon.

As for Christmas, Christine said she got the only gift she needed.

“God just gave me the best gift,” she said. “My husband’s alive and he’s going to recover. That’s the best thing I could have hoped for.”

In the meantime, because Korenthal is self-employed, Christine Korenthal said the family needs financial help and a friend set up an online account to accept donations through PayPal while Korenthal is unable to work.
Donations can be made at www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Help-Kevin-Korenthal/37827.




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