Senior VR Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Outside of Boston
Thanked 108 Times in 97 Posts
It could have been me!
I was riding home late last night after having dinner with my brother in the city. Due to construction on my normal exit, I got off an exit earlier and decided to take the secondary roads home. At the stop light at the exit, another motorcyclist pulled up besides me and we acknowledged each other. He was riding a very fine looking HD. When the light turned green, we both took off in the same direction and stayed together for some time. He eventually pulled away from me and I lost sight of him as the road turned, dipped and rose. I was coming up a little hill into the a little village when I heard screeching tires and that unmistakable crashing thud that is so sickening. As I crested the hill, the saw that a car and the motorcycle had crashed into one another and the rider was nowhere to be seen. After stopping and doing a quick survey of the scene, I found the rider 20 feet down the road, behind the car, flat on his back and swearing like a sailor. He was in pain from his hip/leg area, but conscious and insisted in taking his helmet off.
After spending the next hour on the scene, helping the rider, talking to police and the driver of the car (who was absolutely freaking out) and making sure his bike was properly taken care of after he left for the hospital, it was readily apparent what had occurred. The rider had crested the hill and entered the intersection where the car (coming from the other direction) turned left and crossed into his lane. A very typical case of "I didn't see him" type of accident, compounded by a young driver (24) who was distracted by being lost in an unfamiliar area, the darkness of night and the motorcycle's single headlight. It was obvious that the motorcyclist saw what was unfolding quickly and he locked up the brakes in a 20'+ straight line skid. He impacted the car head on and was thrown off the motorcycle, hitting face first into the driver side A-pillar and windshield, then cartwheeling over the car and landing on his left hip/leg and sliding down the road. Interestingly, the motorcycle rider had a skull cap helmet in his saddlebags, but was wearing a full face helmet when he crashed. There is NO DOUBT in my mind, after looking at his helmet and the damage to the car, that the full face helmet saved him from a serious head injury or even death and affirms my decision to ride ATGATT....especially with a full face helmet, regardless of how "uncool" other riders think it is. The rider last night is alive and complaining today, because of the helmet and I would love to follow up to see if he ever uses his beanie again.
I left the scene, went home, woke up my wife and spent a good ten minutes in huge hug, before I could speak again. It is a sobering reminder of how fragile life is and how quickly things can change in an instant and have far-reaching impacts on many lives. Fortunately, the outcome last night was just about as good as it could be, with no loss of life and just a lot of busted up plastic, some road rash, bruises and possibly a broken bone or two.
So be safe out there, ride aware and defensively and always tell those people who you hold dear just how much you love them everyday. You may not get the a chance to tell them later.
Dying of natural causes is for Wimps!