What Was Your Closest Brush With Death? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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What Was Your Closest Brush With Death?

We were talking about this at work tonight, thought it might be an interesting topic here. I sometimes feel I live a charmed life and have been "right there" on more than few occasions:

When I was 6, my Dad ran a stop sign in our Ford Galaxie 500 and we were hit broadside by a dump truck. I was lying down asleep in the back seat, long before the days of regular seat belt use. The dump truck ripped the entire trunk off the car, slicing it off right behind the back seat. The gas tank was found about 100 yards away on the side of a hill.

A split-second slower and I most assuredly would have been killed. A couple of split-seconds slower and my parents and I would have all been killed. I don't remember that one.

In 1995, I was flying in an Army Blackhawk helicopter from New York to Louisiana. We were flying through Pennsylvania VFR and encountered heavy snow. Visibility was nil and we slowed to about 20 knots while the pilots tried to get clearance to climb and fly IFR. We had almost come to a hover when the snow finally broke and right in front of us was a big communications tower. Had we kept continuing forward, we would have flown right into either the tower or the wires and that would have been a fatal accident.

In 1989, I was again flyiing in a Blackhawk over Panama City under NVG's when I heard one of the pilots yell "Jesus Christ!" and we suddenly banked to the left. I looked out my window in time to see another Blackhawk barely a disc-length away from us and, as it passed, it was so close I actually felt the wash from its rotors come through the open window and hit me.

I've almost shot myself in the face with a jammed pistol at a shooting range and almost drowned when I got caught between a capsized canoe and a logpile in a fast-running Ozark river.

Kinda makes one think. What's your tale?

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post #2 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 08:25 AM
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When I was in grade 9 I went up to the Northwest Territories to coach Badminton at the local schools in a few villages. Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake, Eskimo Point but we started the excitement from Churchill. We took a jet to Churchill then switched into a DC3 with skis to get to the villages. We took off in a snow storm the first time, flew for an hour only to turn around as the pilots couldn't see 2 feet infront of them. Next day did the same, except they started to desend only to find out that they were nowhere near the airport and there was jagged ice burgs sticking up less that 50 feet from where they thought the runway was! This resulted in them putting the plane in a climb almost vertical! I never thought a plane could do this! The next day we went out in a 4 seater twin engined plane with much better success. Well until my talkative father pissed off the pilot! He kept asking all sorts of crap about the plane and what was what.....he made the mistake of asking what the altimeter was and how it worked......the son of a bitch dropped the plane a good couple hundred feet instantly! No-one said a word after that!
I have nearly drowned 3 times now and refuse now to get into fast moving water.
While at a pool party we stacked up 6 truck inner tubes and I the morron tried to dive through them off the diving board only to hit the bottom one with my head that nearly snapped my neck.
I've crashed all my bikes but the KLR bad enough to seriously hurt me by being run over by the cars following or coming in the opposite direction.
I've rolled my car in England at over 75mph chasing a ralley prepped car from work one night......I took out 100feet of hedge row, 2 1 foot stone gate posts at the ground level and then another 2 foot square stone gate post at ground level and the gate.....I ended up on the roof inbetween a cluster of 1 foot thick oak trees. I couldn't see a thing but could smell gas and searched for a door.....it was ripped off, roof crushed down to the drivers seat(no seat belts in them days which was a good thing concidering the roof), I reached out and finally found an opening and stuck my head out into a frig'in thorn bush! Forced my way through it like butter and got ripped to shreads! I was more worried about getting burned alive.
I'm sure there are more.....I hope that's enough.....lol.
I could add the alchohol and drugs....but that would be cheating....good thing I straightened up after 20 eh....the wife I'm sure is the reason I'm still here.
I've had a boring life in the past 25 years.....lol.

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post #3 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 10:27 AM
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mine have all been boating,coming back from manatoulin island in rough water with wind,bailing water all the way,the same fishing the french river and coming back across georgian bay boat sunk at the dock.
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post #4 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 02:22 PM
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Foolishly thinking I could fly between two trees. I did make it fine but not the best decision I should have taken.
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post #5 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 03:26 PM
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I don't remember most of the times I almost killed myself.

"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

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Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
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post #6 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 07:29 PM
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I think my closest brush was in a Cessna 172 we were flying home from Oregon in the winter. I was 5. Weather was crap, and dad was only VFR certified, but we were long overdue for getting home. So we flew an instructor up so he could fly us and the plane back to California.

We took off and poked in and out of clouds on the way down. Ice would build up in the clouds, and melt off in the sun. Just across the border, we went into a cloud and didn't come back out. The ice kept building up, and we started losing lift. This is over one of the most inhospitable and remote areas in California. A crash is very likely to have been lethal, and if not the crash, the freezing to death.

I only knew most of this much later. I just remember being airsick and everyone being worried.

The instructor headed for some airport (maybe Redding?), andóI do remember thisówe broke out under glorious blue sky, with the airport smack in the middle of the clearing. Dad wanted to fly around a little bit to get the ice off and lighten the plane, but the instructor was apparently quite eager to just get the hell on the ground.

We touched down kinda hard, and ice exploded everywhere off the prop and wings.

Dad took me up into the control tower. The plane was thawed out, weather was checked, and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

Years later, when I was 15, I flew that same plane with an instructor for an hour.

I've only been riding for 20 months, but there have already been quite a few "I'm glad I wasn't 2 seconds faster!" moments.
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post #7 of 23 Old 04-17-2013, 10:52 PM
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Had this old boat of an Impala that my future (and ultimately ex) father in law gave me when I got out of the Corps. The car was ugly but ran like a champ. I did what most other young men did after leaving the service...drank Ėa lotówith my friends.

Used to run down to TJ and Ensenada to drink cheap beers until dawn then race back so we could get to work by 8am.

Coming back on the "free" road one night (because we'd spent every cent in old Mexico and couldn't pay the toll on the "good" road, I was driving like the blind lunatic I was.

If you've been on said road, you'll know that any number of obstacles can and will be found in the middle of it.

I must've been doing 75 MPH or better when the lights started going out.

Dang! Must be some electrical gremlin. Slamming the dashboard and kicking the under panel got the lights to come back on intermittently.

The three others were crashed out so I was left to drive solo.

The lights would go out, and then come back on.

"I sure hope I don't hit a donkey, or worse, its owner," I thought.

I would drive blind through the pitch black Mexican darkness waiting for the lights to come back on, slamming the dashboard and cursing that Impala. This happened half a dozen times.

When the lights came on, I was heading onto a gravel road 50 feet or so from a makeshift barrier. I slammed on the brakes and skidded through the cheap wooden barricade. The lights went off and everyone got out of the car wondering what the matter was.

We stood there as I explained what had been happening. Then the lights of the car came on and revealed a beauty of a sheer drop-off. That cliff would've put me at the bottom of a deep, dark Mexican canyon that AAA wouldn't likely have serviced.

Someone whistled low. We all cursed and shook our heads. Then we peed and headed back to the US.

I didn't really understand how bad the situation was until years later.

One never truly understands the gravity of situations like that at the time.
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post #8 of 23 Old 04-18-2013, 02:09 AM
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I should be dead a dozen times over.

God's got a better plan for me that I did.
Really shouldn't be here. Alcohol induced seizures,
near hits (misses) with solid objects, buddies stopping
fights I could have never won, etc...........


This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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post #9 of 23 Old 04-18-2013, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Diego View Post

One never truly understands the gravity of situations like that at the time.
How very true. Thanks for sharing.
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post #10 of 23 Old 04-18-2013, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CheapBassTurd View Post
I should be dead a dozen times over.

God's got a better plan for me that I did.
Really shouldn't be here. Alcohol induced seizures,
near hits (misses) with solid objects, buddies stopping
fights I could have never won, etc...........

Near misses etc.

I don't even know how many times I should have died for some reason or another and never had realized it! Ignorance is bliss even if somewhat disturbing when realized later.
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