Originally Posted by Reznick
I was coming back from a car cruze. It was just getting dark. I was with a pack of friends. They all hammered it and I was just chugging along doing the speed limit.I thought I saw something fly up in the air, and the next thing I know I saw sparks on the pavement ahead of me.The sparks were actually a light up, steel restaraunt sign( ya know the one that sits on the ground with an arrow pointing to the store and you can change the letters on it to make it say what you want)It was a 2 lane road in the middle of nowhere.I was headed west and some idiot headed east had the sign in the back of his truck. He never strapped it down and it took flight.Believe it or not it was upright spinning across the road right at me.I got on my front brakes as hard as I could, basically doing a stoppie. I couldn't get slowed down fast enough so I let off the brakes, & when the back end hit the ground I yanked the bike to the left,,,heading straight for on coming traffic , which just happen to be a Dodge RAM pickup truck. So I went quickly back to the right just missing the truck as they locked up their brakes. So now I'm headed back toward the sign, still upright and sparking, that has been trying so hard to kill me.Now I'm headed for the side of the road which lucky for me( and I didn't know at the time) had no guard rails, just a little gravel and some grass and trees. I got on both brakes as hard as I could figuring I was gonna get hit and figured if I hit it I might be lucky enough to be ejected over it. I'll never forget watching that sign go flying right in front of me(my headlights lit it up...it still had letters on it) and catching my front wheel.It ejected me.I landed in the grass and the bike cartwheeled to a stop and landed on top of me. All I remember is myself moaning "I'm still alive" & the scream of motorcycle engines coming back my way.(my friend said all he could see when he looked back was my head light go all over the place disappear.They figured I was dead) One of my best friends stopped to make sure I was alive and then took off while the other guys lifted the bike off me and called 911. What I didn't know at the time is the guy that lost the sign had stopped a little further down the road, and my buddy had caught up him.He was literally getting ready to kill the guy he was so upset ( he's a former Green Beret), when a State Trooper pulls up wondering whats going on. My friend tries to explain but at this point we are about 1/4 mile apart. The Trooper calls in a motorcycle accident. I was right between counties ,so needless to say 3 different companies came. Fire engine, Sheriffs, volunteers,Troopers and ambulances and none of them could find me cuz it was pitch dark . So there I lay hoping one of my friends can flag someone down. Luckily the guy that I almost ran into with the RAM turns around , found me and parked his truck in the middle of the lane with his flashers on.Everyone on scene couldn't believe i was alive not to mention coherent and talking like nothing happened. They figured I was in shock, but I can just remember thinking I couldn't believe I was alive and OK . I didn't realize how bad things were. Here's the kicker . The guy who lost the sign wouldn't admit that he lost anything out of his truck & my friends really didn't see what happened.At this point I was trying to explain to the troopers what had happen. When I told them it was a sign they looked at me like I was crazy. All I could hear was chatter back and forth on the walkie talkies .After about 15 minutes I heard " Hey we have a restarant sign down here in the trees". When the Trooper (female trooper) said"sir would you like to admit this is yours or are we gonna do this the hard way?" , his response was" Fine , its mine, can I just have my ticket so I can go home?"The trooper was pissed. She told him it would be a long time before he got home after all the tickets she was going to write him and that he was lucky he wasn't going to jail for homicide. He never came down to check on me...nothing. To make things worse the bike only had 800 miles on it and this guy had no insurance and not a penny to his name. It was the first time I ever had to sue someone and I never got a dime.All my medical bills have been paid by me. I could have 2 Ferraris sitting in my garage for all the surgeries Ive had .I brkoe me C3 & C4 and have a chunk of bone wedged against my spinal chord, but it doesn't seem to be causing problems, so its gonna stay .I can walk and move just fine now without any weakness, but there was nerve damage to my occipital nerve and it causes excruciating pain to my head ear and eye, almost every day. I've been having surgeries but they only give minor relief. My doctors are working now on getting me into the Cleveland Clinic to see if they can do anything. My left shoulder was so destroyed the team of doctors that worked on it said they'd never seen anything like it and can't believe I have full use of it. I worked extremely hard in therapy to get use of it back. Every once in a while it will catch and hurt, but other then a gnarly scar you'd never know. So that stopped my racing career. I put the bike back together as I was healing . I was cathartic for me I guess . I just finished putting up a new state of the art work shop to build cars and bikes. I think I'm gonna hang it from the ceiling.For some reason I can't part with it .I was wearing all my gear from the best Arai helmet $ could by right down to Alpinestars boots.Sure its hot and you might look like a douche but it saved my life. I kept it all as a reminder.For all that went wrong that night , I consider myself very lucky. My family's business has kept some money coming in for me and my wife has stood by me through it all.So even though I'm still in a lot of pain I still consider myself lucky.This was over 10 years ago. Sorry for the long story . There's more I could tell but maybe another time. I bought the bike as a left over. It was originally blue. I thought about putting it back to its original state , but I figured something special was called for.You can let it beat you or you can keep pushing , I'll keep pushing on
The Trooper came to see me in the hospital.We never actually met that night cuz she was reaming the guy out that lost the sign.She was really cool.Even showed up to court for me. She said when my friend said I was down on the side of the road she was sure I'd be dead.Motorcycle calls are usually never good. I think every emergency worker came over to me that night and put their hand on me and thanked god I was still alive. It was surreal. I still talk to some of the first responders because I have a friend who is a State Trooper who knows some of them
Wish you the best and its crazy how much the human body can take. But most importantly is how we choose to deal with it. I can truely say, "been there done that", as far as serious motorcycle accidents go. I'll be short: After 9/11 as a USAF reservist I was activated at sent to Barksdale AFB, LA from NC. I spent 19 months on active duty and deployed to Saudi Arabia for 4 months during that time. A week before being deactivated I was involved in a motorcycle accident on my ZX9R when a 19 yr old decided to make a left turn in front of me. I have no memory of the accident or my first week in ICU. I fractured both wrist, right ankle, T-7/8 vertebrae, and tore all the ligaments on my left knee. First time I ever broke any bones.LOL Spent 3 months on my back before starting the hard road to recovery. About 6 months after my accident I finally made it home and continued with outpatient therapy. Apr 7, 2013 will be 10 yrs since my accident. I'm now in a wheelchair, living with pain everyday and thankful I'm alive. My wife is the greatest!!!
Before being activated I was a motor officer on a BMW R1150RT-P, best job ever.LOL On the bright side, I was on active duty and now retired with 100% service connected disability. God has blessed my family since the accident and we have never been without any needs.
My advise to riders, learn to ride properly, take motorcycle riding classes, and a roadracing school if you want to ride your sportbike to its limits safely. Better yet, do track days. Most importantly, WEAR safety gear to include a helmet even if your state does not require one, or at least be an organ donor so someone else can benefit from your stupidity. A helmet saved me in 2 out of 4 of my motorcycle accidents. The 2 accidents were my worse ones, on both I was knocked unconscious. Yes, I'm hard headed and love riding. Love the open road so now I have a convertible and love it.