ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The search for an injured bicyclist has come to a happy conclusion. An Albuquerque woman helped a man after he crashed his bike in September but never found out who he was, or if he even survived but the man is alive and well.
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“To me, I was just riding normally and I just don’t know what happened,” said Joe Cottrell. He doesn’t remember much about the day of the trash. “The only thing I remember, I was riding and the next moment I woke up in a hospital,” Joe said.
His wife, Nancy, remembers thinking it was odd her husband had been out on a ride for so long. “I thought, it’s kind of getting rainy — you would think Joe would be home by now,” Nancy said.
On September 25, Cottrell crashed his electric bike at the intersection of Montano and Tierra Del Rio near Fourth Street. Natalie Smith is one of the people who stopped to help him. Natalie took the cyclist’s bike home with her that day as Joe was rushed to the hospital. Natalie wanted to return the bike and tried looking for him on her own but had no luck until she shared her story and what she remembered about him with KRQE.
“When she said blue eyes. I knew it was him, even my girlfriend she was like, that’s Joe! That’s Joe! That’s his bike! That’s his helmet!” Nancy said.
“It’s just phenomenal it’s being returned to me and I had the help I really needed at the time,” said Joe.
The Cottrells had also tried searching for the bike but figured it has been stolen. They gave up the search to focus on Joe’s recovery. He is doing well and is very grateful he did make it home to his wife thanks to the people who stopped to help when he needed it the most.
“It just couldn’t be better. I met a person that I didn’t know before, she came forward and had hoped she would find me and that I’d be healthy and well. I couldn’t ask for more,” Joe said.
The Cottrells plan is to pick up the bike this weekend and finally meet the woman who helped him. Joe says he’s looking forward to riding again.