Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Tale of Bob Riley's Motorcycle Crash Gets Stranger and Stranger

Steve DeMolen and "Shadow"

The story of Bob Riley's motorcycle crash in Alaska has taken a peculiar twist, with news that the man who rescued him said he did not realize at first that the former Alabama governor was even hurt.

Steve DeMolen, a sales representative for Caterpillar, and his friend, Delany Smith, came upon the site of Riley's crash on a remote highway north of Fairbanks. During a two-hour drive to the nearest hospital, the only injury DeMolen noticed on Riley was a cut hand.

According to news reports, doctors later determined that Riley had a broken collarbone, several broken ribs, and a punctured lung. None of that, however, was apparent to DeMolen:

DeMolen, a retired master sergeant and a Harley-Davidson rider, said he came upon the accident as he crested a hill and saw wavy bike tracks on the downhill slope. The couple then saw the bike, another motorcyclist and a man trying to right himself, DeMolen said.

Riley said he didn't know what happened. Cellphone coverage was bad and no one had a satellite phone.

DeMolen said the only injury he noticed on Riley during the two-hour, 110-mile drive was a cut hand.

The first sign that Riley might be seriously injured came when they got to the hospital:

DeMolen said he pulled his truck into the emergency room entrance and told the front desk, ‘I've got a guy I picked up 110 miles north of here who needs help, he says his name is Bob Riley and he thinks he's governor of Alabama.”

“Bob can't get out himself,” DeMolen said. “I go to pull him out and see his eyes roll back in his head and he starts convulsing and I just see him dying in my pickup.”

Accounts of Riley's rescue have been conflicting. One has Riley riding in the back of DeMolen's four-wheel-drive pickup, with the Alaskan's dog, Shadow; that apparently means Riley and Shadow were together in the bed of the vehicle. (What did Shadow do to deserve such misfortune?) Another account has Riley conversing with DeMolen and Smith for much of the trip. How is that possible with Riley riding in the back of the pickup? Maybe DeMolen got confused in telling the story--or various reporters might have gotten things confused. Heck, maybe I'm confused.

Be that as it may (as lawyers love to say), the story of the former Alabama governor and his motorcycle journey into the Alaskan wilderness gets curiouser and curiouser--especially when you consider that he used the trip as an excuse to get out of testifying at the electronic-bingo trial in Montgomery.

At least the story now is planted back in the South. Riley was transported earlier this week to a hospital near Sarasota, Florida, where he has a vacation home.

As for DeMolen, he was left with a positive impression of Riley--perhaps not a surprise when you consider that we're talking about Sarah Palin country here. DeMolen told one reporter that if Riley ever ran for president, he would have one sure vote in Alaska.

DeMolen said he met Rob Riley, the former governor's son, and former first lady Patsy Riley. (Hadn't the Alaskan already suffered enough?) Both members of the Riley clan thanked DeMolen for saving Big Bob's life. Little did DeMolen know that he had come in contact with one of the sleaziest political families in modern American history.

The Rileys have been fooling people in Alabama for years, so it should be no surprise that DeMolen was fooled, too:

DeMolen never got the chance to see Riley after doctors took him away. But he met his son Rob Riley.

"He said some words that moved me quite a bit. He said that I'd saved his father's life."

He also met former First Lady Patsy Riley. who will be forever grateful.

"She said if I'm ever in Alabama, I have a place to stay (laughs)."

Think of all the unanswered questions about Bob Riley's rise to power in Alabama. How did he manage to "win" in 2002 when votes for Democrat Don Siegelman disappeared overnight in Baldwin County? How exactly were millions of dollars funneled from the Mississippi Choctaws, through Jack Abramoff, to help Riley get elected? Who was Bob Riley trying to help when he launched a crusade against electronic bingo? What exactly are Riley's ties to such conservative luminaries as Karl Rove and Tom Donohue?

The biggest questions now might be these: How do you come upon Bob Riley--with a broken collarbone, multiple broken ribs, and a punctured lung--and not even notice that he's hurt? Are Alaskans stunningly unobservant or is there something fishy about the official Riley story? Were Riley's injuries the kind that would cause someone to have a convulsion? One Web site has this to say about the possible causes of convulsions:

There are several potential causes of convulsions. Those who repeatedly experience convulsions have epilepsy, a brain dysfunction that can usually be controlled with proper medication. . . .

Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs can also lead to convulsions, as can injury or illness of the brain. Choking, general head injury, electric shock, heart disease, stroke, and meningitis are all other possible causes of convulsions. Pregnant women experiencing toxemia and poisoning can also experience convulsions.

Was Bob Riley high? Did he have a head injury? If so, why has it not been mentioned in press reports?

And consider the timing: Why does Bob Riley seem perfectly fine until he begins to convulse--at the emergency-room door? If you are going to have a convulsion, that seems like a pretty convenient place to have one.


For those who want to grasp the classiness of the Riley clan, check out the following video of Patsy Riley speaking at an electronic-bingo rally in February 2010. It's a classic.

[Photo: Facebook]


Molli said...

Good call Roger! Other points: Gadsden Times "Two people Riley had met at a restaurant at the Yukon River happened upon the accident scene, which was on the road made infamous by the television show Ice Road Truckers.” If they "met" him earlier, why were they trying to figure out his name and who he was? Hubbard stated Riley said he had met an individual earlier that day and was riding with "him/her". Why didn't that person help, could it have been Delaney? It was reported one of them (Smith/DeMolen) visited Riley everyday in the hospital. DeMolen, it is reported didn't see BR again after dropping him at hospital...therefore, Smith was the visitor. How did a non-family member visit in ICU? A private investigator needs to look into DeMolen and Smith to check out their spending habits, bank accounts, background, and friends. The picture of the bike has little damage. I have been on a bike that laid down, I was scuffed up and that was it. Others agree by the looks of things his injuries are unwarranted. The need to put the comment about the cell phone coverage is just a spin response to the bloggers that are asking how could he call Hubbard daily but not call for help. More dirty Riley. Keep the story alive! Thanks.

Robby Scott Hill said...

If you or I had a similar accident on Alabama Roads, we would have been drug & alcohol tested for sure. If anything showed up in our blood, no assistance from insurance or Medicare.

jeffrey spruill said...

What exactly are Riley's ties to such conservative criminals as Karl Rove?
August 6, 2009

Thank you for your e-email expressing your concern regarding criminal behavior conducted by Karl Rove. I appreciate you apprising me of your views on this issue.

Very Truly Yours,



Member of Congress


The e-mails emerged as Rove finished his second day of closed-door-testimony Thursday about the firings to the House Judiciary Committee.

Redeye said...


Fascinating story!

"I'm grateful for the excellent medical care I received in Fairbanks and for the good Samaritans who picked me up after my fall and took me to the hospital," he added. "They truly were God-sent."

Couple of things about that statement --

To all of those that said it was Karma and that God was punishing Riley -- it seems that Riley had more than just fate on his side.

And --

If the accident were to happen in Alabama the Good Samaritan would have had to ask for Riley's papers before giving him a ride to the hospital.

From the Herald-Tribune
Riley was injured when he had to put his motorcycle down to avoid losing control. The 66-year-old former governor was on a long-planned cross-country motorcycle trip.

From Left in Alabama
Can a subpoenaned witness hang out in another state to avoid testifying? Even in a Federal trial?

Surely, the answer to that is no, otherwise it's a huge loophole that could stop all kinds of federal cases...


Generally No (4.00 / 1)
A Federal subpoena is good in any state. The Govt, in a criminal case, must offer to pay the witness' transportation costs and lodging costs while testifying.

In a State case you must go through a procedure where in essence you get a Court in the jurisdiction where the witness is located to issue a subpoena requiring the witness to be in court in Alabama. You must pay transportation costs etc and you must certify that the witness will not be subject to being served with any other legal process while in the State.

In Riley's situation, attorneys for Riley moved to "quash" the subpoena which, if granted, means he would not testify. The grounds for this is that Riley does not have any information that would be admissible and/or material to the Bingo Trial. The Fed Judge has ruled that Riley will not be required to appear unless testimony at trial indicates that he can testify to material facts. Furthermore it was agreed that if Riley does have to testify he will be given several days notice of when to appear.

Anonymous said...

I was there in Montgomery during the rally. Patsy Riley is an embarrassment to the state of Alabama. The very idea of her disgusting bashing of Bingo when her husband took 13 million from the Mississippi Choctaws to shut down the competition in Alabama. Not to mention that Robbie is up to his ears in gambling, representing gambling interests through his sleazy law firm. I am hopeful that Boob will get some rest and "heal up", and then return to Montgomery to testify. Let the truth about his corruption be known to all, even his ugly wife. Sorry, had to vent!!!

Max Shelby said...

Okay, hello is anybody asking themselves how a 66 y/o man with seven fractured ribs, a fractured clavicle and a punctured lung is able to have a conversation?
Let alone ride 110 miles in a pick up truck, over lots of bumpy road and he can talk as if he isn't hurt that bad?
I can say this from former first hand experience--if he had those kinds of injuries he would be fighting for every breath!
I call big bs on this.
Check with a few paramedics and ER docs and ask them how plausible this nonsense really is!
BTW--real nice of Todd Stacy, Taylor Nichols and Flashpoint to gang up on LS and LIA on their stupid little social twatser accounts.
I would expect that kind of nonsense from anyone who follows the ultra trashy Drunkey Single. You know that site don't you Stacy? Of course you do, you follow it. Grow up frat boy, you ain't in college anymore.

J.T. said...


As an Alabamian conservative I love reading your blog and eagerly anticipate each new post, but I really wish you would give up your crusade against Bob Riley. You really look like the Clinton haters of the late '90s. He's no longer in public office and not on any ballot, and whether you like it or not he left office with a 50+ approval rating. Give it a rest, please, and focus your very good journalistic ability on other relevant issues that will positively affect, not divide, our great state.

legalschnauzer said...


Thanks for reading. It might seem like a crusade to you, but I don't see it that way. I'm a journalist by background, so I just see it as reporting, with a strong dose of my analysis. But it starts with facts, and I see a lot of disturbing facts around the Riley regime. Unlike Barack Obama, I think we must look backwards before we can have any hope of moving forward. So I don't see Bob Riley, or his associates, as being off limits just because he is out of office--especially when it seems pretty clear that his son is lusting for the governor's office. Hope you will stay tuned. I'm always pleased to have conservative readers because I don't think we will correct our justice system without a bipartisan effort from citizens of all stripes.

David said...

I deon't know where JT got his poklitical educatun, but let me try to explain to how life works after a politican leaves office. I matters not what you do when yuo leave wether you go on a bike ride to Alaska or enter a Trappist monastery, yiouy still stand acountable for what you did while you were in office. The past is past and it is not going away. Bob rRiley left this state in a financial mess.

As soon as he was sworn in he started the machinery of government to make sure that several millioon dollars of our tax money went to finance a medical research facility to do what UAB was already doing. The guys who now own the operation made significant contributions to the Riley campaign. But since Riley is a Republican, he didn't violate the law doing so.

Don Siegelman took a check to pay off the debt of a education lottery foundation. He was a Democrat and he was prosecuted.

Oh course I don't expect JT to understand any of this

Redeye said...

Legal Schnauzer, you know you're doing something right when "conservatives" tell you to STFU and STFD. Keep up the good work.

jeffrey spruill said...

"Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It"

Robby Scott Hill said...

Dear Barack Obama: If you look back far enough, you just might stumble over something that matters.

judy said...

"You want a job? Get a legal job". Don't you just love that! Oh, how I remember the screeching the day this happened. Had always thought she was this genteel dignified southern lady..Well...
But, when it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, then what do you suppose it is? Am just hoping and praying that the former gov. has to testify and hope he will be investigated for all he has done. Then maybe she will have to get one of those "legal jobs".

Glacierbear said...

I lived in Fairbanks for many years, and I know the Haul Road. Riley was an idiot for even taking a motorcycle on a gravel road traversed by trucks exceeding 60 miles an hour trying either to get to Prudhoe or back to Fairbanks. I had to drive the haul road almost weekly as a Land Manager for BLM. I lost many a windshield and had dents made in the side of the vehicle the size of cantaloupes, both by flying rocks and gravel from passing 18 Wheelers.

There are two restaurants on the Dalton, one at the Yukon River and the other at Coldfoot, about two hours further north. Prudhoe is about a six hour trip from the Yukon River. The stories conflict in their details, so I can't tell which place they are describing, in fact, it seems that they two places are confused within each other.

That being said, I think Riley may have lost it between the two restaurants, but nearer to the Yukon River. And the sudden convulsions. . .Puleeze! Riley knows good and well that testifying the truth now could very well put him in jail and will certainly ruin his chances for President (perish the thought). And lying about his involvement in things like Paragon Source on the stand to save his political career will confirm his reservation at the crossbar hotel. He is between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Anonymous said...

What strikes me, is that he was riding a desolate Alaska highway alone. I know several people who "ride" (their term) and they don't even go to the next state without a buddy and usually a ride across the country would involve a dozen or so. Most of these peple are in law enforcement, ex-law enforcement or ex military and too cautious to go such a long way alone. It's just odd to me.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord:

How pathetic you have become. You distort the very news report you link, several times.

The only injury they could "see" was a cut on the hand. Can you see broken ribs and collapsed lungs?

The dog was licking the Governor, knowing he was in bad shape. And you do know it is possible to converse with someone sitting in the cab of a pickup with their head next to the sliding rear window, don't you?

He was admitted in Critical Condition. Is the entire Alaskan medical profession in on "teh Conspiracy"?

It is rich irony, indeed, that you comment on someone else's "class".

What exactly do you think Riley gains from this incident? He knew he would be rescued by the pickup, and precisely calculated just how badly he could hurt himself without perishing? He isn't escaping anything, and is not a target of the prosecution. I thought you were supposed to be a LAWYER.

Give it up. You sound like a small, pathetic, twisted soul. It is more likely that you yourself sabotaged Riley's bike, or spread loose gravel in his path, than this incident was anything other than as reported.

legalschnauzer said...

First of all, I'm not a lawyer and never have claimed to be one. You must not be too familiar with my work.

You seriously think someone who has a broken collarbone, multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung--especially a 66-year-old man--doesn't show signs of being in pain? It's not a matter of being able to "see" certain injuries. But it would be remarkable to not see that someone with such injuries was in pain.

You might check out the comment from Max Shelby above, who has experience in emergency medicine.

By the way, there is nothing in my posts about a conspiracy. My posts say the official story, as reported in the press, doesn't add up. And that is a fact.

It might mean the reporting simply has been poor--I don't know. But I find it very unlikely this took place the way it has been reported.

jeffrey spruill said...

It is more likely that you yourself sabotaged Riley's bike, or spread loose gravel in his path, than this incident was anything other than as reported.


Whoa! The things one can write while "hiding in the bushes."

Anonymous said...

No bias here, huh? You are obviously a liberal idiot, but I repeat myself. When you want open and honest debate on the Bingo (organized crime) issue, I'll be watching and I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

I literally gets chills down my spine every time I watch that baboon-faced former "first lady" tell those of us in the crowd to "shhhhh" and "go get a real job!" I was about 20 feet away from the steps of the state house and you can actually hear me screaming on the video. Since I got a little carried away with my angry yelling and screaming, I remember thinking that someone was about to slap a pair of handcuffs on me and haul me away in a paddywagon! I can honestly say that I have never been that angry in my entire life. Patsy Riley is a disgrace to the human race and I can't believe that she had the audacity to tell us to get real jobs when she has never had a real job in her life! Sorry for the rant, Roger. As always, you've hit another home run with this article!

Anonymous said...

"Patsy Riley is a disgrace to the human race and I can't believe that she had the audacity to tell us to get real jobs when she has never had a real job in her life!"

Anon, what else can you expect from Clay County white trash? You should hear some of the stories the folks down that way tell about them well before he ran for Congress. Hell, I've been told that Bob hasn't ever kept a job long, and even while he was working he was stealing from others. Not much changed between Clay County and Goat Hill, I guess.