On March 4 of this year I was in a pretty nasty motorcycle wreck. It was a freak accident, something that no rider could have avoided and one that I was lucky to survive. My accident was even the lead story on the local evening news.
I was riding home on Highway 280 from a meeting in San Francisco with my friends at CrossLink Capital
. The last thing I remember is getting into the fast lane where I checked my speedo and saw that I was "at freeway speed" and then some. The next thing I know I woke up in an ambulance, screaming in pain, listening to the EMT talking to the hospital on our way in.
What I later learned is that a man somewhere in his 60s had committed suicide by jumping off a freeway overpass. The car in the slow lane directly under him successfully swerved to the right to miss the body, went onto the shoulder, and over-corrected back to the left losing control of the vehicle. They crossed across all 4 lanes of traffic and rammed into me somewhere over 65mph driving me and my bike into the center concrete divider. We both bounced off the divider and the car proceeded to hit another car.
The jumper did kill himself and the rest of us ended up in the hospital. The trauma center experience is another long and interesting story, the very short version is that I walked out under my own power less than 12 hours later. I had an army of specialists all working on me for the first two hours; all convinced that I was about to die. Everyone says it’s a miracle that I am not dead or at least crippled. My motorcycle shop took a look at my bike and said it had some of the worst damage they had ever seen.
At this point I’m probably 90% back to normal, with some lingering pain in a shoulder that an acupuncturist is helping a lot with. (If you are in Santa Cruz I very highly recommend Glenn Kazmierski at 831-459-6001, he’s a miracle worker.)
If you are a motorcycle rider, I have a few words of advice: wear full protective gear at all times and keep in good shape. I was a fairly defensive and skilled rider. I’ve taken numerous riding classes, been to clinics, practice defensive riding (hands over the clutch and brake at all times), read all the books, etc., but still got in a wreck when the guy next to me lost control and plowed into me. I was saved by full riding gear and a whole lot of luck.