Traveling bicyclist struck by car leaving Natchez

Published 1:57 am Friday, February 2, 2018

Natchez — A bicyclist, who was traveling across the country with his dog, was hit by a vehicle Tuesday after leaving Natchez.

Homeless veteran Harold Palmquist and his dog Daisy were traveling coast to coast raising money for the organization Veterans and Their Pets when they were struck by a car north of Woodville. Palmquist had made a brief stop in Natchez on his trip.

Both Palmquist and his dog escaped with minor injuries, but his bike, trailer and Daisy’s cage were crushed in the accident.

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“It truly came as a vicious and instantaneous surprise,” Palmquist said. “I was hurled like a rag doll with forces unimaginable.”

Palmquist found Daisy’s cage empty before he saw her on the side of the road.

“It was not long after that she got her tail a wagging,” he said.

Palmquist said many concerned people stopped to help him, including a passer-by who parked his truck and trailer in the road to deter passing cars from the wreckage.

“This is just one man that I wish I could thank for rising to the occasion for the safety of others and Daisy and I,” Palmquist said.

He said the driver of the SUV that hit him offered many apologies. Palmquist said he felt “sorrow for this fellow … thinking how hard he must be beating himself up.”

“A man and his wife, I later heard was a registered nurse, had stopped to help in any way they could,” Palmquist said.

Palmquist said Frank Davis, a bystander at the scene, offered him a ride back to Natchez.

Michael West, from Veterans and Their Pets, texted Palmquist and told him to find out which of the two veterinary clinics would accept a phone payment to treat Daisy while Palmquist saw to his own medical needs.

Palmquist said he contacted Davis Wednesday, who then drove Daisy to the vet and Palmquist to the Merit Health Clinic.

He said, despite some aches, X-rays came back clean. Palmquist said he will later schedule an MRI to see the extent of his injuries. He said his attention is less on his lost belongings and more on the people that assisted him after the incident.

He said he wished he could thank everyone who helped him through the accident, from the people on the road to those that gave him medical attention.

If his health allows, Palmquist said he will continue his cross-country commitment.

“My tour … is so much more than me pedaling my bike and sharing my story,” he said. “It is made up of countless thoughts and prayers and other contributions made along the way by countless thoughtful people.  Daisy and I are such a small part in a very large whole.”

Story by Sabrina Sims