Michael Sprick, a German citizen, was traveling through the United States for an extended bicycle cycling trip. He was an enthusiastic and avid cyclist. While he was riding his bicycle on a shoulder of a two-lane road in Virginia, a truck driver, Norman Marchant, driving a Freightliner truck at about 55 mph, drove onto the shoulder of the road and struck Sprick. Sprick was ejected from his bicycle and thrown more than 100 feet.
Sprick, 40 at the time, suffered multiple severe injuries and went into cardiac arrest, which resulted in anoxic brain damage. Sprick was airlifted to a medical center where doctors diagnosed a traumatic brain injury, including axonal shearing, cerebral acceleration trauma, left occipital ischemia with hemorrhaging, hydrocephalus and spastic quadriparesis.
He also sustained multiple spinal and rib fractures, a pulmonary contusion and collapsed lung and injuries to his spleen. Sprick was placed on a ventilator and was treated for three months incurring $591,000 in medical expenses.