Former Senator David Zien Seriously Hurt In Motorcycle Accident

David Zien, former Wisconsin Senator (from 1993 to 2006), a 2000 inductee in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame who rode more than 1 million miles on a 1991 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide, was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident on interstate 10 near Tallahassee, Florida.

According to news accounts, an SUV traveling in front of Zien attempted to change lanes, lost control and flipped onto its side. Zien, 59, was unable to avoid the overturned vehicle.
In the crash, he lost part of his left and suffered a broken hip. He was in Florida returning from Daytona Bike Week. My best wishes for a speedy recovery.

38 Responses to “Former Senator David Zien Seriously Hurt In Motorcycle Accident”

  1. 1 Knucklehead Mar 14th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Prayers be with him.

  2. 2 Tony Massaro Mar 14th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Wishing him the best in his recovery.

  3. 3 Mac Mar 14th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    A great man, an outspoken advocate for motorcyclist rights. Speedy recovery Senator


  4. 4 Orpha Zien Mattix Mar 14th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    We collectively pray for my son’s speedy repair and recovery. I am sure he is saying: God Bless You!

  5. 5 Clark Sherman Mar 14th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    A super MAN. I wish you a speedy recovery. Good bless you Senator, you are the best

  6. 6 Matt Olsen Mar 14th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Wow, David Zien is one of my heros, I am glad that he is alive. I wish him a speedy recovery and will keep him in my thoughts.

  7. 7 Mike Grteenwald Mar 15th, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Godspeed Dave, on your road to recovery.

  8. 8 Roadside Marty Mar 15th, 2011 at 12:04 am

    We are all pulling for you Dave!!!

  9. 9 ray c wheeler Mar 15th, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Come on Dave!

  10. 10 ROGUE Mar 15th, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Dave is a friend to many of us and we are all praying for his quick recovery.
    Friends and family have and continue to respond and will be helping in any way they can.
    Vickie Sanfelipo of Accident Scene Management, a close friend of Dave will be posting information as it becomes available on her facebook page.
    Of course we will keep Cyril and those who visit here advised as mare information becomes available.

  11. 11 ROGUE Mar 15th, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Vicki Roberts-Sanfelipo
    Latest update with hospital contact info….
    Dave Zien updates
    3/13/11:Dave Zien was in an early morning crash near Tallahasse, FL. He lost his leg above the knee and is in Intensive Care tonight. He does not have any head injury or internal injuries. The family asks that people respect their privacy. They will rel…ease information through Tony and I as they have information to share. For now – your prayers and well wishes are appreciated. 3/14/11: I just got off of the phone with Dave. He sounded weak and raspy but in good spirits – thanking God for another day with hopes to ride again! He said he has had his eye on a Spyder…. He asked again that communications come through Pan and I. I passed along the man well wishes here! You may echo whatever is written by way of updates. I assured him that his friends are standing by waiting to help him. Injuries: Left leg, amputated above the knee, Right hip fracture, Hand injury (he wasn’t sure) and laceration to the head. Theya re taking him back to surgery to stitch his head today. He said it may have knocked some sense into him but no head injury that they could discern! I’ll disclose his location when I get permission. 3/14/11: Sorry for no updates during the day as I was on my way home from Daytona. Arrived home at 7:00 this evening. Dave had a second surgery today to clean and close a scalp wound. Another surgery tomorrow. Sue and other family members are at Dave’s side and helping him as he tries to recover some of his personal belongings. Doctors are expecting it to to be up to two weeks before he can bear weight on his fractured pelvis. A number of articles have been appearing today such as these While cards can be sent to the hospital, please hold off on any flowers since he can not enjoy them in ICU. Send Cards to: Tallhasse Memorial Medical Center David Zien – Patient 1300 Miccosukee Road Tallahassee, FL 32308 Please – no phone calls yet. We are reporting all of your well wishes and concerns to Dave and family.See More
    By: Vicki Roberts-Sanfelipo

  12. 12 Dale Mar 15th, 2011 at 6:22 am

    God bless you for a speedy recovery

  13. 13 Bigalyts Mar 15th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Orpha Zien this is for you. I hope and wish you continued “nachas” from your Son . I hope his speedy recovery will bring you and he many more years of “nachas” . He is a inspiration for many People, from the State he represented and the Millions that Ride. My Mother also thinks I am a “bissel meshougy” because I love Motorcycles also.

  14. 14 Rebecca Mar 15th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    All the best to your recovery David!

  15. 15 michael g Mar 15th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I am from Wisconsin. When I was younger I always loved seeing him ride his cycle. I in some way always looked up to him. When I saw that bike go past with the huge us flag on it, I would smile ear to ear. Best of wishes to you and your family. My prayers are with you and your loved ones. God bless.

  16. 16 Milwaukee Mike Mar 15th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I have etched in my memory riding along side the Senator as we led the parade one year at the Milwaukee Rally…it was raining cats and dogs and there was Dave singing at the top of his lungs as he rode happily down Hwy 100…a true biker! Looking forward to seeing you back out there Dave!

  17. 17 ROGUE Mar 15th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    A former Wisconsin Senator was seriously injured over the weekend in a motorcycle crash on Interstate 10 at Marianna in Jackson County.

    The Florida Highway Patrol says David A. Zien of Eau Claire, Wisconsin crashed into a car that attempted to change lanes, went out of control, flipped onto it side on the interstate.

    Zein attempted to take evasive action but was unable to avoid a collision. He was flown by Air Heart Helicopter to Tallahassee Memorial Medical Center.

    He was not wearing a helmet. His nearly new motorcycle sustained about 10,000 damages.

    Troopers say the driver of the SUV Ryan G. Matheny of Marietta, OH. and his passenger were taken to Jackson Hospital in Marianna for treatment of minor injuries.

    Matheny was charged with Failure to maintain lane and driving with a suspended license.

  18. 18 Mike Grteenwald Mar 15th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Happy Birthday, Dave. Glad you made 61 years today.

  19. 19 Nicole Mar 15th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Praying for you a speedy recovery! You have done great things for the state of Wisconsin! Glad to hear he is in good spirits and plans on riding again in the future!

  20. 20 freedomlaw Mar 15th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    This is a story of a good man having a very tough time. And there are not very many men in this world, as everyone learns sooner or later. (With apologies to John Steinbeck, The Wayward Bus.) Hope to be there when he stands again and rides again.

  21. 21 Sheri Kuberra Mar 15th, 2011 at 8:16 pm


    I hope to see you back in Wisconsin soon. This may set you back, but I know that you can overcome anything. Thanks so much for helping me in Fairchild, WI. Ride on!!

    Sheri (Dave Ballett’s friend, Augusta, WI)

  22. 22 Mike Erdmann--Whitewater, WI Mar 16th, 2011 at 1:26 am


    I know that God is working in you and through you! His strength will make you whole and you WILL fly with eagles ( and Harleys!!) again!

    You are an awsome witness for Christ and an inspiration for us all!

    I was at Hal’s when you rode in on your million mile bike, in Green Bay with you
    last year for LZ Lambeau, and I know I’ll see you on the road again!

    My daughter in Tampa has the honor of sharing birthdays with you.

    God bless you.

  23. 23 Pepper Massey Mar 16th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Dave is a true freedom fighter who has done more for people who ride than I could begin to recount.
    Incredibly passionate and generous. One of motorcyclings treasures.
    Sending hugs, positive thoughts and energy for a speedy recovery.
    Blessings, Dave.

  24. 24 Wiz Mar 17th, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Hey Dave, When you are up for it I’ll build [free labor, dealer cost on parts] anything you want to get you back in the wind, it would be an honor! Braking, shifting, trike, anything you need. We Can Do It!! Wiz Freebird Custom Motorcycles LLC

  25. 25 ROGUE Mar 17th, 2011 at 7:47 am

    For those who are hearing snips of what happened to Sen. Dave Zien, let me set the record straight. He was involved in a motorcycle crash on Sunday morning last, around 6:15 am. He was near Mariana, Florida, when an SUV or van overturned in front of him and he was unable to avoid hitting it. His left leg was badly injured and he ended up losin it above the knee. He also received a hip injury which tunred out to be fracture of the acetabulum, which is serious. Instead of open reduction and plates, they decided to do a total hip replacement, which is happening today. This is his right side, so with the left leg gone and the right pelvic fracture and hip replacement, he will not be able to put weight on that for some time. He’s at Tallahassee Memorial Regional Medical Center. Yesterday was his 61st birthday, and about 20 of us gathered at our Road Guardians Compound in Big Bend, Wisconsin. We called him and wished him a happy birthday and he was happy to hear fro m us. He was weak and using the morphine pump every 5 minute interval, so it was hard for him to communicate well with us. He was best man at Vicki and my wedding, and a dear friend since around 1972. The media likes to report he was not wearing a helmet. Of course, he did receive a minor head laceration that required stitches, but he also has fused bones in his neck and his surgeons warned him not to ride anymore because a crash could result in death or paralysis. Lucky he wasn’t wearing a helmet because the change of paralysis is great with the added weight to his already compromised neck. Anyway, his bike is totaled (it’s the one Harley gave him on April 6, 2009 when he achieved on million miles on his 1991 FXR) and he is pretty bummed about that. Also, he didn’t know where his Crazy Horse belt buckle was that I gave him for being my best man. He has worn that every day since June 26, 2002. Also, his Lawmaker colors were missing. He and I are membe rs of the Lawmakers, as was Sputnik. They’ve located the colors and he thinks the buckle is with his clothes in the hospital locker in his room. He has a long road to recovery and I talk to him every day on the phone. Vicki and I are working as point for the family so they don’t get overwhelmed with calls. Our Wisconsin governor called me for his phone number, and he talked to Dave two days ago. Our former governor is trying to call his as well. Yesterday, Jim Fendry, Wisconsin Gun Owners, called me and he will be calling Dave also. They are good friends and work on concealed carry bills for Wisconsin. Twiggy from Easyriders called me yesterday too to pass on well wishes. With all of that, Dave is worried about peole worrying about him. He also expressed interest in buying a Can Am Spyder to ride while getting used to his prosthesis. The guy who overturned the van was cited for improper lane change resulting in losing control and driving after suspension. It appe ars he had no insurance and was from Ohio. Dave has insurance but it is questionable if he has enough. It’s going to be tough. My firm is representing him. I’ll visit him in mid April when Vicki and I ride down to Eglin Airforce Base near Panama City. She is the keynote speaker at a banquet the base is having.
    Although the leg and hip are major injuries, I’m worried about the accumulative affect of these injuries and the surgeries. He has a bad heart and this will take a toll on it and each surgery makes him weaker. He’s not out of the woods by any means. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


  26. 26 John Riggio Mar 17th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Hey Dave! Thanks for your inspirational visit to our state legislative seminar. We’re all praying for your speedy recovery. Hope you make The Beast of the East, and Bikers Inside the Beltway wont be the same without ya! Wish ya well! John Ass.St.Dir.ABATE of MD

  27. 27 Slider Gilmore Mar 17th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Dave — Our thoughts and prayers are with you–you have touched so many of us over so many years–you are a true freedom fighter and one of the most unique individuals I have ever had the honor to meet.–I hope you heal well and fast—
    To Vickie and Pan, thank you for keeping us informed.

  28. 28 Quint w/ Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:47 am

    God Bless, God Speed, Sir.

  29. 29 Wiz Mar 18th, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Hey Slider, How are you ‘an that pretty little filly doin’? Wiz

  30. 30 maroco Mar 18th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Allthe best Mr.David

  31. 31 Adrienne Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    David Z-
    So very happy to hear you are going to be ok and got to celebrate another bday! God bless you and your family.

  32. 32 BARB KRAMER & FAMILY Mar 21st, 2011 at 8:03 pm


  33. 33 SaddleTramp & Pigtails ( Mauri & Valerie Tradewell) Mar 25th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery……..see you in the wind again real soon. SEMPER FI

  34. 34 James (Good Guy) Nelson Mar 30th, 2011 at 3:12 am

    The Perkovich’s, Matt Stevenson, Ray Paine, myself and other “old” frtiends of yours from the
    UWS Vets Club wish you the best and a fast recovery.
    FYI I hear that there is an all schoo re-union at UWS thes Sept. The old Vets Club will be getting together too I heard.
    Hope to see you.

  35. 35 SMETANAS Apr 3rd, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Dave and Sue , you are in our thoughts and prayers . SEMPER FI Brother.

  36. 36 Gary Glennon Apr 5th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    God bless you, my friend, with a speedy and full recovery. You are an inspiration to motorcyclists and freedom lovers wherever you are known.
    I plan on seeing you again this summer at the Lichter show in Sturgis.
    Take care and, again, God bless…
    Gary Glennon, Stevens Point, WI
    A Can Am Spyder???? GREAT!!

  37. 37 Orpha Zien Mattix Aug 9th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Dave received his final artifical leg (knee, leg, ankle and foot move separately)Thursday and is elated to be able to walk with a walker and drive a car. Even is thinking of buying a 3 wheeler motorcycle! Ugh!

  1. 1 Dave Zien The Million Mile Man. Health Update. at Cyril Huze Blog – Custom Motorcycle News Pingback on Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:31 am
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