Injured Biker Saved by her Twitter Followers

By Sarah Amos

Aug 5, 2010 4:27pm

ABC News' Tess Scott reports:

When Leigh Fazzina, a 36-year-old social media consultant, got lost and injured during a triathlon in an unfamiliar 300-acre Connecticut forest, she knew exactly what to do. She tweeted. After completing the first portion of the Farmington Connecticut Traithlon, Fazzina jumped on her bike to complete the second portion. She pedaled hard for several miles, focusing on the uneven ground in front of her. Then Fazzina noticed something strange. She was alone and riding on an unmarked trail. She was lost in the woods. The sun began to set. Panicked, Fazzina pedaled harder and faster, hoping to find her way back to the designated trail. Suddenly, her bike hit a root. Fazzina sailed over the handlebars of her bike and smacked hard onto the ground.

“I was beat up, hyperventilating.”

Fazzina screamed out but nobody answered. She waited for people to pass on bikes, but nobody rode by. After waiting 10 minutes, she crawled to her bike and found her BlackBerry. She dialed her cousin, who was at home. The phone rang and then disconnected. Rang and disconnected.

“I couldn’t get a ring. I looked at the phone and saw that it only had one or two bars. So I immediately thought Twitter. I’m going to Twitter.”

She opened her UberTwitter application on her phone and tweeted this to her “followers”:
I've had a serious injury and NEED Help! Can somone please call Winding Trails in Farmington, CT tell them I'm stuck bike crash in woods.

Fazzina’s tweet went out to her 1,000-plus followers. Within minutes “tweeps” from Pennsylvania, Canada, Italy and even Southwest Asia banded together to help. Half a dozen people contacted the Farmington Fire Department and Police Service.

Ambulances found Fazzina within minutes and took her to UConn Hospital, where she recovered fully.
Some people criticized Fazzina for using social media in an emergency, bashing the social media “fad.”

Despite the negativity, Fazzina has no regrets.

“Hopefully at the end of the day it can prove to the naysayers that these technologies can be miraculous. They can be life savers.”

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