This is the story of Chris Young who suffered a really bad crash and survived. I think it is a good example of a lesson learned, although a painful one at that. Enough description, on to Chris’ crash!
“My name is Chris Young and I live in Auburn, Alabama. I have been riding motorcycles for almost 19 years. Sport bikes for just over 10 years, I have been on the track at Roebling Road, GA. with both of my bikes, CBR900rr and the TL-R. I consider myself a good rider with a good head on my shoulders. I have wrecked many times, well maybe three or four, two times with full gear and two times without.
The time I went down in 1992, and I was new to sport bikes and had no gear and someone wrecked me then took off to leave me. Luckily, many people stopped and took me home with a broken ankle and a little road rash, no hospital. Now for my new wreck and story that will hopefully make many of you think before going for a ride. I had been to talk with a friend briefly after midnight that evening. I was getting gas in my Montero-Sport. And after filling up, I had realized that I left my money at home. So I exchanged my cell phone to the cashier for minutes for me to leave and go home to get some money for the store. While at home, I thought about how nice the evening was and figured I would ride the bike to pay the gas station. (In shorts and t-shirt!!!) I made it to pay the lady but never made it home. Well, not until 26 days later. The cause of the wreck is still a blur to me, but not the crash and the aftermath.
I think I was traveling around 100 mph on the interstate, because I told the police I was doing 70 – 90 mph to make it sound better, but you know how us “BAD SPORT BIKER’S” are, and had only passed two vehicles, one car and one trucker. The trucker did notice my high rate of speed, according to the police report and he was also the one who saved me. He was the one who stopped and pulled over to help, actually, he stopped his rig in the middle of the interstate.
Most people get run over on the interstate late at night while lying on the dotted white line. Like I said, I remember sliding and rolling and tumbling and flipping down the highway on my SKIN!!! But not the cause, I slid 300 feet, while the bike kept going to the 600-foot mark. I joke about Bo Jackson, (I am in Auburn, War Eagle!) running the 100 yard dash and lots of other track stars running the 100 yards in just a matter of seconds, but I SPANKED all of them on my back. Believe me, I do not take any of this lightly. This experience has changed my life.
While I was in the ER, My blood pressure got down to 60/30, average is 120/80, and I was put on lots of pain meds that night and they continued for almost 3 weeks. I shook like crazy all the time for three weeks, some from pain of my skin and some because coming off the pain meds towards the end. I had 600 cubic centimeters of skin grafts, taken from my left thigh and a broken collarbone. 25 days in the hospital and 7 surgeries. Most of the surgeries were to change the dressings on my arms and legs.
Due to the pain of the cleaning of my skin, I had to be put to sleep. One surgery was to cut away the dead skin, and one more was to graft and the last one was too take all the staples out of the grafted skin. My collarbone was never really looked at, it is healing ok, I guess. They wanted to fix my skin before they could do anything to my collarbone.
I know what I did wrong that night. It is not the motorcycle’s fault!!! I got complacent and “IRRESPONSIBLE”. Never ride with out leathers, especially while trying to break some kind of speed record at night on the “PUBLIC HIGHWAYS”. Hospital bill has been totaled to $45,892.66, (Maybe More) I did have insurance, but wearing leathers would have been a lot better and cheaper.
Keep my accident in your mind so everyone will wear their protective gear, and save the big speed for the track. Many people all over the world have emailed me and told me that I have helped them change their mind about leathers, that’s my main goal, always ride prepared, we never know what may happen to us, even if I was the one acting irresponsible.”