Update, October 20: Chris died on the 14th. We’ve just published a 3,000-word tribute to him.

Chris Meadows, long-time TeleRead writer and former editor, was seriously injured on his electric bike in a hit and run accident in Indianapolis. Sympathy to his family. If you’re religious, pray as hard as you can for him—he has serious brain injuries and is on a respirator.

In full, here is a just-seen Facebook post from his mother, Judy L. Meadows:

Our son Chris was in a devastating accident. He was riding his electronic bicycle when he was hit, hit and run by an SUV in Indianpolis. Chris has bad head injuries, swollen brain, and bad bleed in his head. Chris has been unconscious ever since and is on a respirator. The doctor warns that this may not be survivable for Chris. All we can do is pray.

I’ll share updated facts here or in a separate post when I know more. I’m the founder and publisher of TeleRead, but in recent years Chris has been the main contributor, so this is quite a setback, especially given the level of his talent for producing sprightly, thoughtful prose—reflecting a love of both books and gadgets. Fittingly, he is the son of two librarians.

Chris has never been afraid to speak his mind in his writings or, in his Ozarks twang, in real life. Although a big library booster, for example, he has questioned the copyright-related practices of the Internet Archive. I myself have disagreed to an extent, but have welcomed his different perspective.

No matter what happens, TeleRead will go on, albeit most likely with far less frequent posts. TeleRead is no longer commercial, and in recent years Chris was working as a volunteer except for small tips from readers. His daytime job has been as an employee of the Anthem insurance company.

You can read an old bio of Chris, a 47-year-old Missouri native and graduate of Missouri State University, on our About page and also see his LinkedIn entry. He holds both computer- and communications-related degrees from MSU. Experienced in tech support and software testing, he has endeared himself to readers with how-tos on such topics as using Google software on Amazon tablets.

Chris has been ebooking since the late 1990s and, except for some time at The Digital Reader, has been writing for us since 2006. He has also run his own blogs, including That’s All I Have to Say, full of miscellaneous essays as readable as his TeleRead posts.

A full-strength games, comics, and SF fan, Chris is author of The Geek’s Guide to Indianapolis: A Tour Guide for Con Gamers and Other Visitors, well-received by Kindle readers. “This book has tons of information for the Con Gamer, but it’s impressive as a guide to Indianapolis for anyone visiting the area,” a representative review on Amazon says. In games circles, Chris is known as Robotech_Master (more on Robotech here).

Perhaps the copyright issues associated with the Robotech franchise, which goes back to a Japanese TV series starting in 1985, helped inspire Chris’s interest in intellectual property issues—the topic of many of his TeleRead posts. 

Let’s hope for the miracle Chris so much deserves. He did survive a less serious scooter accident in 2008. Needless to say, I’ve seen Chris as the logical person to keep TeleRead alive after I’m gone. I’d rather that still happen.

Update #1, added 10 p.m. Eastern Time, October 9, 2020

Update #2, 10:30 a.m., October 10



Update #3, about 4:45 p.m., October 10

From Judy Meadows, Chris’s mother, writing this afternoon: “We just got this news update from Alex. This sounds encouraging. We were about to lose hope, but maybe God will work a miracle after all. Of course, Chris is still in serious condition, so we must not get our hopes too high. We’ll just keep praying.”

From Alex Meadows, one of Chris’s brothers: “I am visiting Chris right now. He looks much better today on the outside. The hematoma swelling is significantly reduced from when I saw him Thursday. They have switched his ventilator to APAP only, as he is breathing on his own. They are currently doing a 24-hr EEG because of some minor seizure activity which neurology will review tomorrow. Apnea study will probably happen on Monday. He is on some medicine to control seizures and to reduce high blood pressure and to control his temperature. ~Alex”

Update #4, about 7 p.m., October 11

From Alex, writing this afternoon: “Just visited Chris. He had a bit of a spa day this morning — the nurses trimmed his mustache for him. He is doing a better job with his blood pressure today, managing to maintain it below 160 without medication. His body temperature is also much more stable. He has a cooling blanket still, but it is at a very low setting.”

Update #5, about 11 a.m., October 12

From Judy, when asked about a GoFundMe page: “He should have good insurance since he works for Anthem. I will see what Alex thinks. We are praying that the results from the 24hour EEG that will come in today will be good. Right now, I am going to take a walk with my dog in the woods. I was feeling very low yesterday. I am so thankful that he is breathing on his own! Now we pray that the EEG will give us more hope and that he will WAKE UP! All the love and support from his friends and ours is comforting. I have to keep my hands and head busy. I may feel up to a horseback ride soon. Right now I am sticking close to technology. Audible books and praying for my head, housework for my hands.”

Update #6, about 9 p.m., October 12

From Judy: “No news today so far. Alex has been in Bloomington Indiana and was going to let us know the results of the EEG, but maybe he doesn’t have them yet or maybe he hasn’t gotten home yet. Aaron is out of town also. Alex has called us at 9:30 the past two nights, so maybe he will do that tonight.”

Update #7, about 10 a.m., October 13

From Judy: “Sad news. Chris stopped breathing on his own yesterday. He will be put on palliative care today. We are praying for peace, comfort, and strength for our family and others who love him.”