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Old 08-13-2010, 09:51 AM   #1
cliffy109 OP
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Oddometer: 1,778
So that's what a GSA feels like on your back!

On Tuesday, August 9th, I was riding home from work. It was a very hot afternoon but traffic wasn’t horrible on I95. I decided to take my favorite “long-cut” home which is about 2 miles out of my way but is one of the best sections of twistie roads I have ever seen.

I hit a few of the preliminary corners well and was feeling good and alert. I came to the “money section” and was half way through when things went very bad. A car had been coming up the road toward me. He needed to make a U-turn. Instead of a normal U-turn, he passed a driveway on his right, backed into it and pulled back on to the road, going in the same direction as me.

As I came around a corner and was setting up to make a hard left in the road, I saw the car as he was still in reverse. He dropped into drive without even looking and pulled in front of me. I had two choices. I could run straight into the back of him or hit the gravel. I chose the gravel.

From there, the front end started oscillating wildly and I think I grabbed the brakes. I high sided off the left side of the bike and hit the ground on my left shoulder. I tumbled to a stop in a sitting position with my knees in front of me.

At that point, the bike that had been tumbling end over end, caught up with me and slammed into my back, pinning me. My chest was on my knees and the GS Adventure was on my back. The right side pannier hit my left arm. I think the big pannier and the crash bar created a small space for me and likely prevented me from being instantly crushed.

I couldn’t lift the bike. The driver stopped and came to help. He lifted the bike off and called 911. I laid back and rested on my side, where I stayed until the ambulance arrived.

I was transported to Spotsylvania’s new hospital and was checked out in the ER. They ran a CT scan and took a bunch of x-rays. They declared that nothing was broken and there were no internal injuries. They discharged me.

As I sat up to leave, I became dizzy, nauseous and faint. I dry heaved and they became worried. They are not a trauma center so they called Mary Washington hospital to consult with the trauma surgeons. They ordered that I be transferred to them.

Back to the ambulance. A number of hours after being admitted to the trauma ward, I was given an MRI. That revealed three compression fractures in the L5 7 and 8 vertebrae. It will require no surgery and not even a brace. I got a “comfort brace” to help keep me positioned correctly but it is an option. The injury is considered stable.

So I’m back home now. My left arm hurts a lot but they assure me its only a deep contusion. My ribs, back and pelvis hurt as well, especially when I stand or bend. Again, I am told its all normal and nothing can be done.

I know how bad things could have been. I was wearing Olympia Bushwacker pants and jacket. The pants have a good hip pad and I know that saved me from a lot of pain. It also has a very good back protector which likely prevented the bike from snapping my spine. I felt a lot of pressure on my boots (BMW All-Around) and my gloves (BMW Summer 2) stayed on and took some abrasions.

The helmet is a Nolan N102. There are scuffs on the top and right on the chin guard. The lock held. I flipped the chin up after I laid back.

The bike could be worse. I’m not sure if its totaled or not. The back rack is bent. The front plastic is messed up. The headlight is smashed and the instrument cluster is knocked completely off. The windshield is busted bad and it looks like there may be damage to the oil cooler. At first glance, the suspension looks to be OK, although that needs to be checked out. The insurance guys will be looking things over.

In all, it could have been much worse. The other driver was cited and I was not. I will recover and my family is all doing everything possible to help me.

This was taken by the guy that caused this. My wife hates this one.

Here's another, taken after I was removed.

I don't know if you can see the scuff marks, but they are there on the chin and on the top left. The chin isn't latched in this pic but it did stay during the crash.

This is the back and shoulder of the jacket. Note there are no tears at all. Were it not cut off by the EMT, it would still be usable after a good cleaning.

The pants didn't rip either but were also cut off.

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Old 08-13-2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: GTA
Oddometer: 502
Wow, nasty. So good to hear you survived relatively unscathed from a potentially debilitating get off.

It is so easy to get lulled into carving up a road and forget that there are real dangers around every bend and in the bushes ready to bring you low.

I have had my share of scares, fortunately all my accidents have been one man shows.

Is that a good thing?
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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Joined: May 2009
Location: H-town, TX
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I'm glad you are OK. I'm also glad the person that caused this does not have any outstanding warrants or he would have been gone leaving you there by your lonesome. Unfortunately, this is one of those "there's nothing you could have done to avoid" accident.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Location: Penngrove, California (Sonoma County)
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Well, at least your not fookn broken

Hows the bike?

When's the lawyer serving the D-Bag driver papers?
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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Thank goodness you survived,Sounds like it could have been much worse,very good you had decent gear on. Hope you get well soon.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:43 PM   #6
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Location: Townsville ,Queensland, Australia
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Wow that was bad luck at least the driver helped instead of just driving off. I hope that you and the bike will be back on the road again very soon
02 GSA written off by a DRUNK in pickup.
04 GSA Written off by a pickup.
06 GSA . SE. will try to stay away from pickups.
Well it was a car this time #L/tib & fib in the same place as the previous F wit crushed it
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:23 PM   #7
I'm better now.
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Hungry Mother, Virginia
Oddometer: 1,798
Wow. Now hold on here just a minute. The driver stopped to take a pic and your still on the ground? Bless you and your family.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
Red or Green?
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: LC, NM
Oddometer: 762
Wow. Nasty accident. Thank goodness you weren't hurt anymore than you were. Hope you have a quick and complete recovery.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
kootenay kid
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Location: kootenays canada
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Holy shit man, thats terrible. Glad youre not in worse shape and hope things heal up fast.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
I can pass this guy.....
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Oddometer: 3,010
Of all bikes to piggy back, that's a brute.

Seems like you took it like a champ
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #11
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Just south of Madistan, WI
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They is hope for humanity yet!

AND they took pics.....$$$$$$ Those are some expensive pics....

Too bad about the bike. That was my favorite color combination.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:01 PM   #12
proof that gravity works
Joined: Jan 2007
Oddometer: 104
Glad you made it out in the condition you did, it certainly could've been a lot worse.

For those of you skewering the driver for taking pictures - I certainly wouldn't have been been mashing the shutter button on a camera at that moment, but assuming he'd already called 911 and didn't have any EMT/paramedic training, it's probably best that he didn't try and move the OP around and inadvertently make those fractures any worse. When I was rear-ended and thrown from the bike a couple of years ago, none of the bystanders who stayed by to help so much as touched me after they realized I was breathing and conscious. Wouldn't surprise me if I found out they were taking pictures on their cell phones, too.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:14 PM   #13
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Location: Stafford, VA
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Don't slam the driver, he made a mistake but stayed around and did the right thing. If he was a bad guy he would have just driven away and no one would even know who it was.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:43 AM   #14
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Oddometer: 77
Originally Posted by jasonTDI
$$$$$$ Those are some expensive pics....

+1 on that. Lucky he stopped, lucky he documented this for you, lucky it was just a few compression fractures. Do the physical therapy, please. Comp. fractured my T8 vertebrae, did not follow up well. Now it gets sore really easily.

P.S. it's weird to leave the hospital with a broken back, no cast and note saying "no lifting for X days", right?

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Old 08-14-2010, 04:05 AM   #15
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Location: Northern Virginia
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+1 on Olympia gear. Went down on gravel and broke some bones (hand,leg,ankle) but no road rash and pants/jacket stayed together and protected well.
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