Dr. Richard Claycombe, professor of Economics and Business Administration, was in a bicycle accident in early July that flung him over his handlebars and landed him in shock trauma.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” said Economics and Business Professor Kevin McIntyre.
Claycombe, who was wearing a helmet, sustained a serious injury to the base of his skull, causing unconsciousness for several minutes and brain damage. There were no other serious physical injuries, “just a scrape on his face and a scratch on his knee,” said McIntyre.
After spending a week in the hospital, Claycombe was sent to a rehab facility and was discharged in early August. Although he is no longer in the hospital doctors felt early on that Claycombe would not be able to return to McDaniel this semester.
“He really loves being here and loves his job, and was really disappointed when he found out he wasn’t going to be able to come back this semester,” said McIntyre.
“Perhaps by the time that the semester started, I was strong enough to teach. But there was no way to know that ahead of time, so replacements were recruited and I have the whole semester to recover,” said Claycombe. “I am still recovering my memory of trivia and vocabulary, but have enough of each to get by pretty well. Hopefully time and the drills that I do will make the recovery pretty much complete.”
Claycombe is still unsure about exactly what happened.
Both he and his wife have been back to the scene and neither found any sort of rock or pothole that may have caused the accident.
There has been speculation that he may have had a stroke causing him to squeeze the brakes and send him flying.
Claycombe says that he has a family history of strokes, and after undergoing tests he has learned that he is not at risk for one in the near future. However Claycombe has decided to take steps to reduce that threat.
Claycombe’s two sections of Microeconomics are being covered by McIntyre, and his Environmental economics course is being taught by adjunct lecturer Ed Slattery.
Senior Katie Connolly was somewhat surprised when she walked into her first day of Microeconomics to see McIntyre standing in the front of the room rather than Claycombe.
“I was kind of anxious and nervous because of his [McIntyre’s] rep, but excited in the same sense,” said Connolly who went onto describe McIntyre’s reputation as, “humorous, but intense.”
McIntyre felt that the students’ reactions weren’t as shocking as he expected them to be. “They seemed to handle it okay. I didn’t see anyone falling off of their chair or anything,” he said.
In addition to Claycombe’s courses, McIntyre is teaching three of his own, doubling his usual course load.
Though Claycombe is currently at recovering at home, he journeys into the office from time to time.
“It seems from his family and out from there everyone is really pulling for him, and hopes and expects that he is going to get better and he’ll be back in the spring,” said McIntyre.