Surviving a Motorcycle Accident: Speed, Helmets and Souvenirs

If I were to pick any youtube video to describe the feeling and sound of going down in a motorcycle accident , I would pick the following video at the 1 minute mark:

Let me tell you a story about speed, helmets, and souvenirs.

The good day

Surviving a motorcycle accident without a helmet
It was a nice day for December 8th, 2014. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and anything else I could clean around the apartment to avoid doing homework. As I finished all of my category C errands, I decided to see how my sister was doing. I got on my motorcycle just like any other day, used my Kodakey and started it up. The bike sat for a few minutes and I started on my way. I noticed the girls looking at my bike and wishing they were on the back. I was wearing new Nikes, jeans, and a nice dress shirt. The feeling was great, wind blowing through my hair, the feeling of being cool on my 2008 Yamaha r6, but that day wasn’t one of my favorite days on a motorcycle.

The Motorcycle Accident

As I approached a busy intersection, the traffic light turned yellow. Not wanting to stop, I gunned it and continued accelerating through the intersection. The next series of events are but a night’s dream to me. The steering wheel suddenly jerks up after hitting uneven pavement. I could tell that it caught a little bit of air and when the front tire landed, the steering wheel jerked left to right several times until it took a hard right. My whole body continued forward while my bike veered off to the right hitting a light pole. I felt so helpless knowing that I didn’t have any control over the situation. My head hit first, then my left shoulder. My body was effortlessly rolled to the other side where I started sliding on the uneven pavement. The only thing I could think was “this is it, this is it, this is it”. As I slid, it seemed that my natural instincts came in and supported my head so that my head received less damage. All along this experience, I could hear the screeching of my motorcycle scraping the ground. During the episode of sliding, I came to the realization that dying did not hurt one bit. I couldn’t tell if I was dead or still alive. To be honest, I couldn’t feel anything after several yards of sliding on my bare skin in this motorcycle accident .

surviving a motorcycle accident without a helmet

Post Motorcycle Accident

I sat there laying for a few seconds, then supported myself with my arms. My face was numb, so to make sure I wasn’t missing any teeth, I moved my tongue over my teeth and confirmed that they were all there. I jumped up, noticed a puddle of blood falling from my face all the way to the ground. Then a crowd of people rushed to me telling me to stay on the ground. A scruffy-looking construction worker gave me his bright florescent shirt to help stop the bleeding on my face. I pulled out my phone from my pocket and called my brother, he responded with a text “I’m in class right now”. I texted him back saying that it is an emergency. He answered my next call and after hearing about the motorcycle accident , he left school right away to come to where I was. I looked over and my bike was about 150 feet away by the stairs of the BYU football stadium, a place I had performed in marching band and where I had rooted for my favorite football team.

The feeling from there was surreal. I couldn’t feel my face. The ambulance came and started cutting my clothes and discussing a bone fracture in my cheek as well as a concussion. They kept asking for my name and general information, which really annoyed me. I kept thinking, “can’t you just help me instead of asking me all of this? I was in a motorcycle accident for Pete’s sake!” At the same time, the crowd that had gathered were taking pictures of me. I really didn’t want any pictures taken of me, but that was the least of my worries at that moment. My face was turning cold and they started to take me into the ambulance. I refused the ambulance because I preferred to go with my brother to the hospital (it was only three blocks away from the motorcycle accident scene). I walked shirtless and with shredded pants to my brother’s car while pictures were still being taken of me. When in the car, my brother kept the situation light when I asked him how I looked. He said “you look pretty good, just don’t look in the mirror”, I flipped down the mirror and saw that a big chunk of my nose was missing and saw the huge amounts of swelling done to my face. I continued with humor “wow, do you think I could be the next Scarface in Batman?” The adrenaline soon wore off and immense pain continued.

Differences

From that moment, I noticed a difference in myself. After every visit from friends, nurses, and doctors, I told each of them that I loved them. And I truly meant it.

I said that I would never ride my motorcycle again, however when my motorcycle was delivered to my house a few weeks later, I admit that I did sit on it and wished that it still worked. Every once in a while, especially when I’m with my good friends, I think back to all of the fun times we had on motorcycles, despite the recent motorcycle accident . On a few occasions I started to sweat and have flashbacks to my motorcycle accident as I remembered some ti. On one occasion, a friend I were going 135 mph. “What if the pavement was uneven?” “What if there was a pothole?” “What if gravel covered a corner?” I now look at all of the times when I thought I was having “fun” as moments of stupidity. Risking my own life for a few seconds of adrenaline? Why did I do that while ignoring the consequences of never seeing my brother, or those that I love again?

Souvenirs

I will never forget that scruffy-looking construction worker. From him I received two souvenirs; I not only took away his cool florescent shirt, but also a lesson on gratitude. The accident was my fault, and therefore my responsibility to fix. He offered his shirt to lessen my pain, in different terms; he paid part of the price of my pain with his shirt. As I think of it, living on this earth is a whole world of pain. Yet we often forget that life could be worse and overlook our array of pain relief. We have friends who randomly visit us, phones that help us stay connected, cars to drive in, family who are there when no one else is, a free country. All of these can easily be overlooked as worldly pain-reducers if we aren’t careful. This is what I learned from my motorcycle accident ; that I have so much to be grateful for. Unfortunately it took me a few scars and a motorcycle accident to figure that out.

Whether I ride again or not, I have a deeper desire to travel at safer speeds, wear a helmet, and be grateful for the souvenirs I receive every day.

For more stories or videos like the one above, try this link: YouTube

2 thoughts on “Surviving a Motorcycle Accident: Speed, Helmets and Souvenirs

  1. Koda, I am really glad that you didn’t get hurt worse. I hope you have the motorcycle bug out of your system. The world would be more of a bore without Koda of with a Koda vegetable. You had a lot of fun riding, There’s more fun to be had. Learn.

    Tom Alexander

  2. Wow! What a story! I am glad you learned a much needed lesson. My boys were also VERY lucky to be alive today. Living in Salt Lake City at the time, they wanted a car. They were ages 16, & 18. I told them if they could find a way to purchase not only the car, have money to do buy proper insurance, pay for their own gas and repairs, they could get a car. I never expected them to manage to do just that! I could not go back on my word, but was very worried about what may be ahead of me with them on the roads.

    I was to learn much later after the situations happened. but one day, the car was not home and the boys were. They told me they had to take it to the repair shop, but did not know what the problem was. The problelm was, they had taken an off ramp off of I-5 right above what now is a Home Depot store. They were doing in excess of 100 MPH, and the car flipped off the ramp into the field below them! They were acting as if they were hurting, but said they had a rough PE teacher who really worked them hard. Had I known it was a car accident, I would have gotten them to a doctor right away! I think everything turned out OK, but will never know if some of the issues they deal with today were caused by that incident, or not.

    Thank goodness you and they all survived. Speed never gets us any where good!

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