JOPLIN, MO-- 22 year old Jake Mitchell of Joplin, was riding home from work on his brand new motorcycle Tuesday near 7th and Rangeline, when a car pulled out in front of him. Family members say Mitchell is an experienced motorcycle rider, always wore a helmet, and started riding dirt bikes when he was young. Jake's father Terry Mitchell says he always taught his son to watch out for other cars on the road. "I would tell him to always assume that every car that that he sees, is going to pull out in front of him."
Jake suffered serious injuries in the accident. He is in critical, but stable, condition at the Intensive Care Unit at Freeman Health System in Joplin. He is in a coma, suffered cracked, a collapsed lung, and a broken ankle. His sister, Brittany Mitchell, has been by her brothers side since the accident. "It's the worst pain you could ever imagine." She says. "Seeing your big brother, who is the strongest person you know, laying in a hospital bed not being able to do anything for himself. "
Sergeant Rusty Rives of the Joplin Police Department says the number of accidents involving motorcycles increases this time of year. "As summer comes along, the weather gets nice, you're going to see more bikes." Rives explains. "This is an especially dangerous time of the year." Rives says drivers need to be more cautious. "We need to make sure we're slowing down. Watch for those motorcycles on the street.'
Police say the driver of the car will likely be issued a ticket for the accident. Brittany wants the driver to know the family doesn't blame him for what happened to Jake. "AccidentS happen every day. God has a reason for everything."
But for Jake, the outcome could be a lot worse. Terry Mitchell hopes that by showing people what his family is going through, people will take a little more time driving. "Pull up, stop, and take a minute. Because something like this can ruin your life whether you are hurt, or not."
If you would like to send jake a get well card you can send it to :
c/o Jake Mitchell Room 271.1
1102 W. 32nd Street
Joplin, MO 64804