My accident (it's pretty long)

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My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  Joe on Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:30 pm

I have been going over this in my mind many times since the accident, so I decided to give you all the “what had happened was” as I remember it. The only thing I ask is that this does not get reposted on other sites for now. I'll share it as I feel I should. Thanks.
So, here goes….
A little about me, I have been riding since 2006 (Yeah, I know, late start) and I have been an MSF Rider Coach since 2010. My first bike was a 2005 Honda VTX 1300. After putting over 44,000 miles on the Honda I sold it and purchased a 2011 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom in October of 2011. I had about 3,200 miles on it the day I left.
It was a beautiful spring afternoon and I was headed down to Ridgecrest (China Lake), CA for an event the following day. I was not in a hurry, had a full night’s sleep, was not stressed out, and was in the right frame of mind for a three hour ride. I performed a full T-CLOCK inspection on my bike before I left (All inspection items were well within limits). I am typically an “All the gear, all the time” rider and this was no exception. I was wearing 5/11 tactical pants, a Joe Rocket Atomic 4.0 jacket, Frank Thomas gloves, Alpine Stars motorcycle boots, and a Shoei RF1100 full face helmet (DOT/ SNELL). I was carrying one small overnight bag in my trunk and some miscellaneous gear in my side cases (About 17 lbs total).
My planned route took me south on state route 99 to Bakersfield where I would take state route 178 through Lake Isabella and on into Ridgecrest. I chose this route because it is the most direct route and 178 is supposed to be a fun road on a bike (I had never ridden it before). I knew it was a fairly technical ride but I was not riding fast and not in a hurry. My plan was to ride like I normally do, as fast as I am comfortable with and usually less than the speed limit. As the ride progressed, everything was going as planned and my transition from the 99 to the 178 went flawlessly. Now I’m on 178 and headed towards Lake Isabella. 178 runs through the Kern River canyon which is why it is so winding and narrow. I did not realize just how winding and narrow until I was riding it. The speed limit up this road is 55 and I was barely comfortable at 45. As I got further into the road it got more intense. There is one area where there are about six or seven curves in a row with speed advisory signs varying from 10 to 20 MPH and while I was riding through this area, I was passed by four cars going the opposite direction. The scary part was all four cars were straddling the double yellow lines when they passed me (on the wrong side of the road). I was now on “Full Alert” and the road opened up a bit after I passed the cluster of sharp curves. I went into a right hand sweeper at about 40 MPH. About halfway through the curve I could see the sharp left going into the next curve. I immediately noted that I needed to slow down to take the left so I downshifted, applied both brakes, and set my entry speed for the turn. It was at this time that I noted my position in the lane and I was pretty much hugging the centerline. All I could think about was a car coming around that curve in the wrong lane so I adjusted my position away from the centerline. As soon as the bike moved away, it started shooting towards the right side of the road. I straightened the bike and went to max brakes to attempt to keep it on the road. I don’t know if I was on some sand or gravel but my brakes did not seem to do anything as I left the road. As soon as I left the road my bars were at full lock the bike pretty much just stopped and I went up and over the bars and windshield. I landed pretty much square on top of my head (Split my helmet right down the middle) and rolled over onto my back. As soon as I stopped moving, I knew I could not feel my legs (Uh Oh). I was only about ten feet away from my bike, which should be an indicator of how fast I was going (or not going). The first car stopped about five seconds after I did and in it was a PA who also happened to be the retired paramedic supervisor for Kern County, the next person to stop was another paramedic and the third was a retired EMT (I was in good hands). Several other people stopped then two CHP officers arrived just before the ambulance. Both officers were pretty cool and did not jump to any conclusions before they heard my story. One of them even stopped by the hospital that evening to see if I was OK. I got a pretty good laugh out of everyone on scene when they asked me how to spell Arcidiacono and my response was “Common spelling”. The ride to the hospital was painful but uneventful.
When all was said and done, I ended up with minor fractures of T-1 and T-2 and Major fractures of T-3, T-4, and T-5. I have bone fragments from T-3 partially in my spinal cord and bruising of the cord at T-4. I also have a broken right collar bone and shoulder blade. I have two to three weeks left here at the VA hospital before I go home for three to five weeks or until my right shoulder is better. Then I will go back and finish my rehab. The basic timeline for any spinal cord healing is six weeks to six months but it could still take longer. Only time will tell.
Well, that’s my story. I hope no one ever has to experience what I’m going through right now. I thank God every day for my family, my friends, and the US Navy.
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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  Len on Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:27 pm

Damn Joe ... thanks for posting this. I went to the "Blessing of the Bikes today and Pastor Dan ... he told us that people will still run out of gas .... but maybe closer to a gas station or a helping passer by .... people will still have flat tires but maybe closer to help ... and people will still go down .... but he prayed that the "right" people will be close .... sounds like you were blessed. We all pray for your speedy and complete recovery. Thank you for sharing bro.
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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  alabamawing on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:11 pm

Joe, the "key" to the whole story is you remember it. I dought if you had not had a good helmet on you would. Thank you for sharing your story. Your attitude is great and I am sure things will get better.

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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  fcsnuffy on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:58 pm

Thanks for posting Joe. You have been in our thoughts and prayers and you and the family will continue to be.
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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  Fred on Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:38 pm

Len wrote:Damn Joe ... thanks for posting this. I went to the "Blessing of the Bikes today and Pastor Dan ... he told us that people will still run out of gas .... but maybe closer to a gas station or a helping passer by .... people will still have flat tires but maybe closer to help ... and people will still go down .... but he prayed that the "right" people will be close .... sounds like you were blessed. We all pray for your speedy and complete recovery. Thank you for sharing bro.

alabamawing wrote:Joe, the "key" to the whole story is you remember it. I dought if you had not had a good helmet on you would. Thank you for sharing your story. Your attitude is great and I am sure things will get better.

AMEN!

I can still envision every second of my wreck in 2008. I was at very low speed as I knew it was slick and the bike ust went over.

Godspeed in healing Joe!

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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  Doc on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:59 pm

Thanks for sharing Joe. My prayers for your full recovery continue!
I know with your attitude you are halfway there! thumbup

Keep up the hard work. toaste

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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  actionpack on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:22 pm

thanks for shareing joe , true dat what the other brothers have said , glad your still here to tell us about what happened , we can all learn from this ,prayers sent for joe and his family

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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

Post  whitetrash on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:50 pm

Hope that you heal Quick and get back to a 100% Joe.

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Re: My accident (it's pretty long)

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