Look Out For Each Other: Couple speaks out about motorcycle safety
Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2016
Last Wednesday, the lives of Nolan Pullens and Kalyn Owens took a dramatic turn when Nolan was involved in a motorcycle accident.
Though his injuries remain serious, doctors expect Nolan will make a full recovery. Once he’s fully recovered, Nolan said he plans to continue riding his motorcycle.
However, before he does, both he and Kalyn, through the telling of their story, hope to encourage drivers to pay attention and always be on the lookout for motorcyclists.
The Poplarville natives grew up together and have been inseparable for the past seven years.
“It was a friendship that turned into love,” Kalyn said. “It’s been the best decision of my life.”
Kalyn said Nolan enjoys playing music, especially on his guitar, which he plays for the couple’s 1-year-old son Parker.
“He’s a great father and plays with Parker constantly,” she said. “He spends all his free time with him. Parker loves dancing to Nolan’s music.”
On May 31, Nolan was taking his friend’s motorcycle for a test drive when the unthinkable happened.
“All I remember is that someone was not paying as much attention as they could have been and that’s who I hit,” Nolan said.
Kalyn heard about the accident almost immediately. The couple live less than a mile from the accident site. The accident occurred at 6:20 p.m. and Kalyn said she pulled into the Pearl River County Hospital’s parking lot five minutes later.
“All I could think was that it can’t be him,” she said. “It can’t be Nolan.”
Once stabilized, Nolan was flown via the Rescue 7 critical care transport helicopter to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. Doctors immediately performed surgery on Nolan in order to save his life, she said.
After about 12 hours, Kalyn was finally able to see Nolan.
As a result of the accident, Nolan suffered an open chest wound and a broken sternum.
His left arm and right leg were broken and his right knee was crushed, Kalyn said. There is also an open wound on his right leg, which will require skin grafting. There was no damage to his left leg. Nolan has undergone numerous surgeries to repair his injuries and recovery will take months.
“Doctors don’t know what is going on with his right arm,” she said. “There may have been some nerve damage and it may or may not function.”
Despite his accident, Nolan said he will continue to ride. He said he enjoys the feeling of “being free.”
“Be careful out there and watch for people,” he said. “Not everyone is as worried about themselves as I am. It would be a better place if more people looked out for each other.”
Once Kayla was able to pull her thoughts together, she shared her feelings on motorcycle safety via social media.
“Please respect motorcyclists. Respect their bikes. Share the road,” she wrote. “Life isn’t a race and definitely not a game. It’s ok to wait three seconds before you can turn. Do not try and beat another car, or in our case, motorcycle. Look twice, three times or even more before pulling out. I cannot stress enough that you do not have to be in such a hurry. Slow down and pay attention. You never know when it could be you or your loved one injured from stupid mistakes. Life is far too short not to be fully aware of your surroundings. Accidents happen and can happen to anyone, but if you just take a few more seconds of your day, you might could save a life. Open your eyes.”
On Tuesday, June 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. a benefit will be held for Nolan at Dimple’s Fried Chicken, located at 1113 S. Main St. in Poplarville. A plate will cost $10 and include fish, coleslaw, fries, hush puppies and dessert.
Plates will be available for dine in or take out. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction.
A GoFundMe account has also been established to help offset medical expenses. The account can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/282v77ng.