Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Carrollton, GA
I Ride: 2008 ZX6R x2 (Track)
Witnessed my best friend almost die on our Sunday ride.....
I don't know why my threads are always filled with negative shit but I figured this would be a good outlet.
He is a new rider, he bought his bike 3 months ago under my watch. Hell, I even rode it back 6 hours in the cold for him to be happy. Needless to say, this guy and I are like brothers. I care for him very much but I feel like the reason he could have potentially died is partly my fault.
Yesterday, my best friend (whom we will call Will to protect his identity) and I decided to go riding since the weather here was gorgeous (60-70 degrees). I lowsided my 2007 as some of you know and just got done rebuilding it to a rideable standard with an entire new white fairing kit, many bolts/screws and mounts. I finished all the repairs Sunday morning.
Will and I meet at his house at noon and hit this road with VERY mild twisties. All gradual sloping curves, nothing crazy. Most of us and go through this road with one arm.
We go through it the first time with no issues.
We called a guy we met at a bar (sounds homo I know) who rides a 2003 ZX6R. We shall call him David. Real cool guy. Wore these huge dreadlocks but was easy-going. We decided to invite him to our ride to get to know each other.
So the 3 of us meet at our location and decide to hit the very same road.
When the guy pulls up, I see the a huge red flag but dumb me, didn't think.
He brings his girl who had stilletto heels on and booty shorts and a tank top. He had on shorts and a T-shirt.
One thing I'm proud of is that I ingrained in my friend's head that no matter the temperature or how dumb he looks, he is to NEVER ride without gear. Before he even bought his bike I made him promise me he never would. Don't dress for the ride, dress for the fall.
So we all chit chat before we mount up and admire each other's bikes. The new guy's first question is how fast have we ever gone on our bikes. (Next red flag). I tell him probably 120. Same with my buddy. He goes to tell me he's been 165 and is actually on probation for getting caught going 120. He then proceeds to tell me he had gone 140 with his girlfriend on the back. She agrees.
The fact that I barely know the guy and he starts to compare balls should have been a red flag.
We get ready to go and unbeknownst to me, this next question is something that could have probably saved my life. I asked Will :
"Do you want to lead or should I?"
He wants me to lead since I am the more experienced rider BUT he knows the road better so I ask him "Are you sure?" You'll find out why it could have saved my life later in the story.
David obviously decided to ride at the end since he's carrying two.
We head off and things are going great. This road is maybe 7 miles of nice turns and a whole lot of farm pasture. Great for cruising. I wasn't knee-draggin or anything but we were riding spiritedly. 55 zone, and we were at like 75 or so.
Then this is where I keep replaying this scenario in my head. We pull behind a F-250 towing bales of hay. I retain speed behind it and wait for a passing zone.
We hit a passing zone that crests over a hill and has a light sweeping turn left. The driver flags us to pass.
I make it around with little effort. As I do with every turn, I check the rearview to see if my friend makes it safely.
I look in the rearview and see my buddy in the air, literally 20 feet, no exaggeration and his bike also in the air. This image is something I thought about all night and all day today. His body position in the air made me sure he was going to land on his neck.
Due to this road not having many side streets or driveways since its out in the county, I had to go half a mile and make a U-turn. It felt like an eternity. My hands were shaking because I thought my friend was dead.
What am I going to tell his family? How am I going to break the news to his brother (whom I'm also very close with and pledged to look out for his little brother before he left for Australia)? So many thoughts racing. This is my fault. I was the convincing reason why he decided to ride.
I pull up to the scene and realize that even David had wrecked. Then it dawned on me that he had NO GEAR ON nor did his girlfriend.
As I'm pulling up, I see Will on the floor laying down with his arm up. He told me he was signifying that he's ok and conscious upon talking to him this morning. I rush to check on David and his girl. David was muddy but had to get the bike off his girlfriend. She was pinned under it and she's only 90 lbs or so.
David's girl was screaming about the pain. She was laying there with David consoling her telling her not to move. I was speechless, I ask David if he's ok and he says hes fine. I dared not to ask his girlfriend.
I then ran to Will. He was on the floor telling me (very calmly might I add) that he can't feel his legs.
I've known Will for years. He's 6'4" and about 240. Built like a damn truck. Never seen this guy wince in pain, never seen him in a helpless state.
I asked him how he is and the typical jokester that he is, asks me, "So hows my bike?" We both laugh and I ask him how he is. By this time 3 different families from 3 adjoining farms comes to check on us. The people in the truck come and see how they are.
Will's pants were ripped and his knee was bleeding. I ask him if he can feel me squeezing his ankle. He tells me he can. I squeeze even harder and he says he can move it but his knee is probably fucked. He's laying there are paramedics come up with the firefighters.
He looks up at me and says "Thank God for the gear."
Paramedics try to convince him to take an ambulance. He doesn't want to. I hated to play devil's advocate but I told him that if he was mobile, my girlfriend would come and take him to the hospital to save on the $1000 ambulance bill.
He obliged as paramedics and firefighters told him he NEEDS to go with the ambulance NOW.
Slowly but surely, he gets up.
Legs : bruised but he was walking normally after 30 mins.
Head : his helmet on further review took the brunt of the damage. His facemask was shattered and we found it several feet away.
Shoulder : we believed it was broken his he screamed in agony every time he moved it. He couldn't even get into my girlfriends truck without being on the verge of tears.
Hospital X-rays show that he only slightly tore his rotator cuff connecting muscle. No broken bones. THANK GOD! He was lucky as fuck. If he walked away with 1 broken bone he would have been luck, but none whatsoever and the ability to go home just hours later is a miracle.
David's girl was on the floor the entire time. The paramedics believe he broke her pelvis and quite possibly worse.
David joined her to get checked out in the hospital. They left in an ambulance.
I saw the responding officer walking out of the hospital after interviewing David and the Officer told me that David's girl may have spine issues and had a broken pelvis for sure. David had a fractured arm but didn't even know it. Likely more issues for the both of them but he didn't stick around to find out.
I called and texted David but got no response.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
I tried to piece it together at the accident scene but was totally blank as to how it happened. The turn was so very mild. Maybe 30 degrees, IF that.
I asked Will how it happened. Will tells me that when he took the turn, his peg hit the ground, thus, bouncing him violently to the opposite side. He went off the road and hit a drainage ditch and that's where he flew in the air.
David was behind him and David admitted that he was following way to closely to show his skill by proving he can keep up. David could swerve fast enough and went into the same ditch. David's girl was airborne according to witnesses. She then landed on the bike and when the bike settled, it settled on top of her.
This is why when I asked Will if he wanted to lead that it might have potentially saved my life. I'm 6" and 145 lbs. I'm a scrawny as hell. I would have been broken in half had I taken the same fall.
You know, I feel responsible for many aspects. There were things I could have done differently but realize it after this disaster :
Mistake 1) I begged my buddy to raise his bike back up when buying the bike and when we changed his oil. I made a HUUUGE deal about it telling him how it throws off the handling characteristics of the bike and how he'd be more comfrtable since he is 6'4". He told me he's used to the bike sitting low so he will keep it like that. Funny thing is that I told him you better not hit those turns too hard or else you'll fuck up that peg. He told me he doesn't ride hard so whats the point.....
Mistake 2) I should have commented to David about not being comfrtable with his girlfriend wearing less fabric on her entire body than I have on my one pant leg. If he had been protected, she may have walked away also.
Mistake 3) I told Will about starting off on a 250 or even a 650 V-twin like a SV650 or a Ninja 650. He claimed he "didn't like the way they looked" and he wanted a true sport bike. I told him thats a bad idea. He told me about how I started on a R6 and how I'm "still alive". Maybe I had convinced myself it would be alright. I regret it.
Mistake 4) I should have told Will to ride his pace. Not mine. I felt like I was going through that road at granny speeds. He on the other hand might have felt like he was hauling ass.Maybe I gave him a false sense of safety. Maybe he felt that if he just followed my cue, he'd be fine.
Mind you, if I compare my riding abilities to most of you on the forum, I'm a slug. I only have track experience in a car and only have been riding for 3 years.
I guess you learn these lessons as you go. I thank God that I'm sitting here telling my story instead of preparing my best friend's funeral.
Last edited by Lobster; 03-12-2012 at 05:36 PM.