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Cyclist Robbed After West Oakland Crash Fighting For His Life; Heart Condition Complicating Recovery

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – While police continue to look for the robbers who stole a wallet from the unconscious victim of a bicycle accident on Tuesday, the victim is fighting for his life.

Greg Lowrie, 25, is at Highland Hospital in Oakland in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury, a broken arm, a broken pelvis and a crushed hip.  His mother, Margaret Lowrie, told KPIX 5 that Greg has had a heart condition since birth which is now complicating his recovery.

"They're trying to get his brain stable, but his heart won't pump enough blood," Margaret Lowrie said.

According to authorities, Greg was riding a bike when he was hit by a pickup in West Oakland around noon Tuesday.  As he lay on the street unconscious, robbers stole Greg's wallet, then took the wallet of the 81-year old pickup driver who stopped to help the injured cyclist.

Margaret said she and her son lost their home in Berkeley last year and they now live in a homeless encampment in West Oakland, not far from the accident scene. She said she has endured some difficult times in the past, including multiple hospital visits of her son, but nothing like this.

"When he was 10-years-old and he had his surgery, it took them almost a half an hour to start his heart again.  After they took him off bypass, that was the most horrible half hour of my life.  But this is worse.  Because I don't know what's going to happen," Margaret said. "The doctors told me that he might die."

As for the insult to injury that came with the robbery of her son while he lay unconscious in the street, Margaret said she has mixed feelings.

"West Oakland is some of the most wonderful people you'll ever meet and some of the worst. I've made more friends there in the year I've been living there than I have in all of Berkeley for 25 years, except my neighbors.  But we've also had some really bad episodes. We've been ripped off a few times. Our RV was broken into. They took our pots and pans. I guess they wanted to recycle them," she said.

"You know, its par for the course in West Oakland.  At the same time [he was being robbed] a lot of people who were walking down the street knew Greg and stopped [the robbery] from happening," Margaret said.


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