Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Central Sierra Mountains
08 and a barbed wire fence
On Thurs 3/18/10 I was out on my 08 enjoying the sunshine casually motoring down a Gravel/dirt Rd when BAM. Accordind to California Highway Patrol whom investigated the accident my Pelican 1550 (right side) hooked a tree root that was protruding from the road cut. I was doing about 20-25 mph and instantly turned 90deg straignt uphill, the KLR didn't like that so she joined forces with gravity and we turned 180deg, all in about 3 feet. I remember all this and what happened next.... The barbed wire fence. I saw it coming fast, instinct said locker up and slide into the fence bike first. So I tried just that.... Nope not enough time, we wound up high siding. I remember the impact. It felt like a someone on a roof dropped a bowling ball into the middle of my back while I was lying face down on the lawn chair. As it turned out the bike and I are a good team when it comes to fence removal. I was a 4 wire fence. We took out 3 wires in .005 seconds. I remember rolling a few rotations and then it was over. I couldn't breath and my back was killing me. I flipped up my visor on my Arai XD3 (Helmets save lives) hoping to get some air. I thought I just knocked the wind out. I tried to get up... ouch ouch ouch, not yet. Then my EMT training kicked in. Oh Shirt, spinal injury. I tried to calm down, klicked my boots together yup can feel it and I hear it , Good sign. Still trouble breathing, short rapid breaths , I sense gurgling in my respirations. This could be bad. I got my self inline as best I could. I pulled my helmet off, head feels OK. I fish my cell phone out of my pocket and call 911. OK help on the way. I called wife, OK wife on the way. Breathing getting easier, back really hurts. Randomly a jogger runs up. I tell him how to help, mainly just keep me still. I was definately in shock, I asked him to turn the key off on the bike, he did. Finally, Emergencey Services show up. Like I said I am an EMT/Firefighter so I know all the guys. The shirt talking began instantly, thats what we do, they were the first to pick me up. Ground ambulance to local hospital then Helicopter to Regional Level 2 Trauma center. CT Scans, Chest x-rays, tons of tests, 6 days inpatient. Diagnosis: 7 fractured verterbrae, 1 broken rib, small pneumo thorax (lung damage), bruised kidney and liver, massive contusions, abrasions, and lacerations. I am bed ridden for 4 weeks. I have to wear a clam shell around my entire torso whenever out of bed for 8 weeks. Can only walk with a walker. Dr. expect full recovery in 9-12 months.
I will ride again. I havn't seen the bike yet but from what I hear it was driven by a Department friend from the scene to my mother in laws house. I know the handle bars probably bent, mirrors broken, I think I saw the front fender hanging in the fence when they hauled me out. I am guessing around $1000 to fix but hey we both survived to tell this amazing story. I love my KLR and I intend to prove that to her buy fixing her up and getting back out there in 2011.
Two points I want to emphasize on here. 1: Helmets SAVE lives, I am looking at my helmet as I write this and it is severely damaged. You know those steel t-post they use for fencing. Well I center punched one with the top of my head. That impact poked a quarter sized hole into the outer shell and cracked the helmet from the top to back. 2: I love my wife. When things are at their darkest, a loved one whom is willing to do routing things like bath you or maintain good hygene and much much more. These people are deserve all you can give. You never know when this can happen.
I feel as if this were a freak accident. I was focused on the road, my speed was reasonable for the road condition. I just rounded a slight bend in the road an hooked a tree root. Im lucky that I will heal and the bike will be repaired. Oh ya, I am lucky that I carry great medical Insurance and I have the bike fully insured. I figure that when this is all over I will pay less than $1500 out of pocket.