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Chuck289 09-14-2009 10:13 AM

Motorcyclist loses leg. ATGATT?
From here (w/ pics):

Last weekend.
A motorcyclist hit a street light post and lost a leg. He had no helmet and sounds like he wasnt wearing any other gear.

So I wonder, in this case (or any other where an arm or leg is lost), was there any amount of gear that could possibly prevent that? Or perhaps are the forces required to take a leg off just too great, that anything like leather pants wouldnt even hold up?

PS, the rider survived.

Saturday morning I stepped out in my backyard to take a few pictures when in the distance from the south I heard the familiar sound of a large displacement street bike. It was coming closer but as it approached I heard the back wheel spinning up. Given that it was still traveling rather quickly I was surprised at the sound I was hearing because the back wheel shouldn’t be spinning unless the street was wet or something which would of course take some decent skill. I can just barely see the tops of passing cars from the backyard and saw a flash of motorcycle rider blast by about 2-3 seconds of hearing the spinning wheel. Being a bit of a motor head and race fan I couldn’t help but notice how great is sounded but ultimately I was slightly annoyed that he was riding at mach on our 30mph street. I’d guess his speed was around 65 when he passed and he was accelerating. About 2-3 seconds later I heard the distinctive sound of an impact! I ran through the house with a straight shot grabbing my keys and cell phone from the coffee table. My truck was already in the driveway and I quickly jumped in and headed up the street.

There was still dust in the air as I approached and I saw the rider face down but his body was sort of on its side…no helmet. 911 connected about that time and I gave them my cross street and asked for an ambulance. Just then another car approached as I went to take a look at the guy on the ground. I finished with the 911 operators and went to put my ear to the victim’s back but I couldn’t hear him breathing. The rider had hit a steel streetlight that looked to be about 5x5” square. I don’t know exact size but the impact was great enough that it displaced the square post about 6-8 inches about 2 feet up the pole. The rider was about 25 yards from the bike and debris and motorcycle parts were scattered everywhere fanning out about 35 yards from the bike where it stopped near the pole. Midway in between the bike and rider was the riders left leg which as been torn off. It was a terribly gruesome accident scene and I was struggling a bit to stay cool. I honestly thought the man was dead because of all the blood along with the fact that I didn’t hear him breathing. By that time there must have been 20 bystanders moving to the scene along with children. I realized that this might be treated as a crime scene so I had people get back away from the bike and asked the teenagers to make sure no little kids approached this mess. It was traumatizing even to some of the teenagers.

The fire department arrived within 4-5 minutes of my 911 call and the ambulance about 2 minutes after that, then a police woman showed up next by herself and I knew she’d have her hands full. I pointed out the two eyewitnesses for her and then she asked me to go to the other side of the street and move everyone back. The paramedics did put an oxygen mask on the victim’s face, which was encouraging. They also asked for a large cooler with as much ice as they could round up, which one of the close by neighbors supplied. I don’t have to tell anyone what that was for….right? Yes, the leg actually fit inside.

One brave little boy about 11-12 years old was holding the plasma bag for the paramedics right over the downed rider. They called in an air ambulance and the fire department was clearing the landing zone of people. Since they were still short of police I asked if they wanted me to clear the opposite side of the block and the guy say “please!” The same guy later thanked me for helping which was nice. I walked back down toward my house clearing people as more police and fire department showed up. I only had my camera phone on me but I knew the whole two blocks were going to be a big accident or crime scene so I started taking pictures of anything that looked crucial. I found the riders glasses for example and the path that he took over the sidewalk and through the dirt. The guy was spinning the wheel in the dirt just off the sidewalk at 60+ mph and plowing through bushes. Because of this I don’t think he was in his right mind. My guess is that he stole the bike, was on drugs or was exceedingly angry for some reason. I’d guess his age between 20-25. After I took about 20 pictures, I headed back toward the accident and waited on a side street to stay out of the way. The helicopter pilot passed overhead and then did a descending 360 degree left turn before coming in pretty fast! This surprised me because there were good-sized trees on either side of him and a 25-foot tall light poll just to his left that he passed by right before touching down. It was impressive to see him plop that thing down on a small residential street with no hesitation.

After about 5 minutes they had the victim in the helicopter and it left as quickly as it came in. I stayed and talked to police and showed them the rider’s glasses and path through the bushes. They close the entire street for about 3 blocks and had a web of yellow tape strewn everywhere. It took them a couple of hours to do their thing and then it was mostly quiet again except for lots of resident and traumatized kids standing around talking. One little girl was crying because she happened to see the mess there before we could herd people back. I called the police department the following day because I wanted to see if the guy lived or not. They couldn’t give me much info but did tell me it wasn’t marked as a fatality, which I was very relieved to hear. I’m doubtful that there was any way to save that leg because it wasn’t a clean separation. Still, I pray that somehow there was a way. Needless to say, this guy’s life is going to change forever but at least he’s getting a second chance. I’ll share a few Medi-Vac pics for now. Maybe later I’ll show the post he hit but that’s all. In any event, it was quite the Saturady morning around here. Things like this always make me count my blessings.

Fajita Dave 09-14-2009 10:41 AM

Thats a good questions. I guess if it was something with even the relative shape of an edge could have sliced his leg off. If he had gear maybe it would have been a broken femur instead?

WrenNH 09-14-2009 10:50 AM

No question - there are some circumstances that are going to result in a serious injury that no amount of high quality gear can prevent. I think there are far more, though, where good gear can mitigate or completely prevent injury. Always wear your safety gear.

AzB 09-14-2009 10:52 AM

I hope the rider takes advantage of his second chance. Good luck to him.

Kudos to you for being so helpful and composed. It's not an easy thing to do, and if I'm ever in need of help like that, I hope someone like you is around.

That all being said, a flashlight forum? Really? :rofl


cheesewhiz 09-14-2009 11:01 AM

I don't mean to question the validity of this story but, with a missing leg wouldn't one bleed out in the 5 minutes it took the FD to get there ? :huh

Grreatdog 09-14-2009 11:09 AM

I am also pretty skeptical of the story. The one accident I worked with a nearly severed leg was right in front of the station. So I was literally there in the time it took me to jump into my turnout gear, grab the trauma box off the engine and run 100 feet down the driveway. And I still almost lost the guy from bleeding out. I didn't even triage the other three cars. I had to tourniquet the guy on the spot and start trying to clamp the artery. Fortunately I was saved from fucking that up by the timely arrival of our EMT (who promptly puked on the guy). It was damned hard but we did manage to save the guy's life. Response time for me was probably less than one minute from hearing the crash and less than five for our EMT. We were literally already working when the tones went out.

LuciferMutt 09-14-2009 11:28 AM

I suppose anything is possible but I have to wonder about this one too -- a completely severed leg is usually a death sentence.

That said, don't ride through town like a douchebag!! If you hit a pole at 70 MPH you're screwed either way!

Chuck289 09-14-2009 12:15 PM


Originally Posted by AzB
I hope the rider takes advantage of his second chance. Good luck to him.

Kudos to you for being so helpful and composed. It's not an easy thing to do, and if I'm ever in need of help like that, I hope someone like you is around.

That all being said, a flashlight forum? Really? :rofl


Oh, that wasnt me posting. It happened in Arizona. But yes he is definately a good man for doing what he did.

And yes I am also on that flashlight forum. I'll head over to the Man-Fessions thread now:shog

ldsgeek 09-14-2009 12:34 PM

Depends on how it was pinched/where
If the lower leg was crushed off it is entirely possible for many of the blood vessels to be crushed closed. If it was involving the femoral artery that can drain the body in less than a couple of minutes. Still gonna suck either way.

Grreatdog 09-14-2009 01:37 PM

That is true enough. But when I read severed leg I always think they mean the whole leg. Could be I was ASSuming more than actually happened.

Rusty the Scoob 09-14-2009 01:42 PM

Severed with a blade is different than crushed-off like this should be. I could easily see the blood vessels crushed shut in this case.

Would gear have helped? I'd say it couldn't hurt. leather is tougher than skin. No way that he'd walk away though.

Sir Not Appearing 09-14-2009 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by AzB

That all being said, a flashlight forum? Really? :rofl


Better than a Fleshlight® forum :lol3

laukkanen 09-14-2009 01:49 PM

he definitely would not have walked away with full gear but geared up properly for the way he was riding (from his riding style description he should be in full race leather with armor) and from what was stated he would have likely have had a broken leg.

he probably would've been better off if he hadn't been "riding at mach on our 30mph street" in the first place though..

Fajita Dave 09-14-2009 02:18 PM


Originally Posted by Sir Not Appearing
Better than a Fleshlight® forum :lol3

:photog So are you talking from experience?

I never had any idea there was such a thing as a forum about flashlights! Did anyone look up some of the thread names? Such as "New guy needs a real flashlight!" or "My Saturday night flashlight story!" :wink:

lemieuxmc 09-14-2009 02:29 PM

Am I the only one who noticed that the greatest contributing factor to this wreck was the rider suffering from R.C.I.S?

In Iraq lots of guys lost limbs from crushing/ripping IED shrapnel or Humvee parts. I was really surprised at how many guys DID'NT bleed out, but everybody was carrying 2 tourniquets ready to go.

*That's Recto-Cranial-Inversion-Syndrome

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