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John Williamson

How and why my accident happened and the injuries...

I misjudged a bend at very high speed on a motorcycle partly because the verge marker posts at the edge of the road were gone, Rotted away. Partly because the chevrons that should warn of tight left hand bend had previously been knocked down and put back up too far around the corner meaning I wasn't able to see them until it was too late. This was because it was easier for them than digging the old concrete foundations out I suppose.

And partly because I was having a lot of fun on big seriously tuned bikes for about 20 years. Looking back it was inevitable. I just didn't see that at the time though. When your number's up then that's it! 


Also because the hedgerows were overgrown - obscuring the upcoming signs and the severity of the bend further still...   And because I was unlucky because the triangular warning sign of "tight bend" was also obscured by a van pulling out of a lay-by on the left side of the road just before it which also distracted me and prevented my full concentration on the bend ahead.  Either way I was convinced it was a "high speed" bend so I didn't slow down... And I was going way too fast.

All the normal subconscious signals that tell you to slow down - learned through years of riding big bikes and car driving - were obscured one way or another.  And because I was going too fast of course!  All of these things together conspired to have me heading straight on at a bend that initially looked pretty shallow and not severe enough to slow down for by very much.  And I would have needed to slow down rather a lot...

I started to brake really hard on the straight for maybe two full seconds and pulled across towards the centre of the road to allow me to go in wide and "straighten out the bend" so to speak.  Then as I lean in and look for the apex and start to start to corner fairly hard I see that it tightens up hugely a few yards in!  Oops Now I am going massively too fast for this now really tight slow left hand corner. 


We drive on the left in this country. Not wanting to go wide onto to opposite side of the road and meet something coming the opposite direction I elect to go for a gap in the hedges that looks like a "flat" escape route into a field.  So I straighten up and aim for the cheapest softest safest option at the time and have now got little room to brake. Expecting a slightly bumpy ride into a field I stand up on the foot pegs.

Anyway I hit the opposite bank of a huge but hidden ditch. It was directly across my path. And huge. The long grass both in it, and in front of it, made it invisible until I hit it at a very good speed.  I never saw it coming and was in fact looking much further ahead at the gap in the hedges and the field.  The bike flipped upwards and over backwards bouncing off the opposite bank.  I went from unknown but fairly high speed to zero.  At this point my legs went under the bars, my head smashed into the front wheel and my back and neck and right femur was broken and the lights all went out...

I was thrown into the bottom of the ditch and bent flying 500lb hot and very hard 1200cc bike landed rather heavily on top of me after falling from about eight feet in the air...  At that point I was unconscious. I came too for a few minutes while my mates were trying to get the bike off me with a fork lift truck borrowed from a nearby farm. I  could hear the rescue helicopter coming in to land in a nearby field.  Nothing hurt. I wasn't very conscious. I remember bits of being examined and struggling to breathe. I remember someone saying doesn't that hurt? Pointing to my leg.  It was my thigh. Femur. Broken rather badly with the bone sticking in the ditch mud and my leg shaped like a Z. Couldn't feel that. I remember being stuck in the helicopter and being given oxygen and that's about all I remember.

Apparently I had a chest/lungs full of blood, all my ribs broken (in many places from the bike landing on me and the crush) they were trying to stick tubes into my chest to drain the blood that was causing my collapsed lungs (gallons drained over six weeks) and they were sitting me up to do so in the nearest casualty which was in Lincoln.

Apparently I wasn't very keen and caused rather a fight/battle!  Don't remember myself but I spent the next six weeks in a coma (partly Opium based drug induced to save shock and multiple organ failure).  They were literally pouring blood , plasma, odd white food liquid, as well as antibiotics and tons of other chemicals continually by tubes.

I had tubes in every orifice, including my nose (stomach) and all the other places you can imagine and then some! As well as oxygen, machines that beep all the time,  It was like a bad trip, A kind of confusing long nightmare for weeks at a time. A nightmare where I couldn't understand where I was or what was happening. My lungs were full of fluid and breathing and choking were the same thing. It was dark/light/dark in sudden spasms. Absolutely no sense of time or reality. One of the chemicals was an opium based drug controlled by a machine. I had broken neck (no spinal cord injury here) broken back with full spinal cord injury here meaning complete paralysis from chest down with all the toilet, and other problems that causes! 

Even during the times of consciousness I couldn't speak because of oxygen mask, and tracheotomy (an extra hole in my throat I never used to have for draining fluid out of my lungs every 20 mins so I didn't quite drown). Also had an operation on my bowels caused by a blockage caused by a doctor that didn't know enough who fed me... and broken toes etc. And a huge metal bar in my right femur. (6 hour operation).  I have had better days.

After this 6 week period I was stable so they shipped me to a special spinal injuries unit where you go through a full years production line style recovery. Before coming to terms with all the problems life now has. Anyway it was an experience I could have done without!  But hey, shit happens doesn't it...

If you want to link to this page feel free but don't copy and paste my content anywhere else OK? Thanks!



John .



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