An Illinois native was biking across the country to help put kids through college, but his ride was cut short when he was hit by a vehicle in Alabama.
“The road was bad, and there were no shoulders,” rider Tim Lalla from Orland Park told NBC 5. “A man in a Ford F-150 crested a hill and hit me going pretty good.”
Lalla was riding his bike in Alabama as he traversed the country going to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. He kept fans apprised of his adventures on the Biking for Baseball website and Facebook page, the same page where he informed fans of his journey's "devastating" end.
Lalla suffered serious injuries in the accident, including minor fractures in his spine, a broken neck, and facial fractures. He also lost several teeth in the accident, he said.
“The first thing I remember is waking up on the side of the road,” he said. “It’s tough waking up knowing that the dream of a lifetime is over.”
The journey was supposed to end at Chicago’s Wrigley Field later this summer.
“This trip has been absolutely incredible. I can’t say how devastated I am that this is how it ends,” Lalla wrote on Facebook. "The places, stories, but especially the wonderful people I’ve met across the country have made this adventure amazing.”
Lalla also encouraged people to donate money to the cause, which helps to fund scholarships and mentoring programs for kids interested in attending college. The $160,000 goal that the organization set was to send two more kids to college, and they had raised over $12,000 at the time of Lalla’s accident.
“Even though this trip has ended on a sour note, it would really give this journey a sense of fulfillment in my eyes to reach the goal and give this journey the ending it deserves,” he said.