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Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

Crashes: The Other Side




Summary: Our crash page is all about crashing wtih a bike helmet. But we get other stories as well, about people crashing without helmets, or people crashing on wheels other than bicycles. This page is devoted to those stories. For a similar list of skateboard crashes, see the Ian Tilman Foundation's Fallen Skaters page.




  • Added on January, 4 2011

    My son was quite good on a skateboard. An excellent athlete, basketball, football, unicycling, biking etc. He called me in Houston may 28, 2000 to say he was coming home early from Univ of San Diego. God blessed me richly with that call. His last words were “I love you mom”. 4 hours later the hospital contacted me to say he was brain dead. He had forgotten his skateboard and ran back to dorm to get it for the summer at home. He rode it to his vehicle and hit a pebble in the road, no helmet, and sustained a brain stem injury. He always wore his helmet but it was packed. Why did he not just carry his board? Well I have learned not to question God anymore, I glorify Him that my son in with Him and not here in this world. I miss him every day. He was so amazing. I see kids all the time without helmets. I cry. I wish I could tell them it is way cool to be safe and real stupid to go without that helmet. Would he have died anyway? Hmmm. Only God could answer that
    Grieving still.

  • Added on August 22, 2010

    I was riding my brand new racing bike down my road to the store to get a soda I was up to about 30 down a slight hill when I saw a car coming so I tried to move to the left my instinct as I turn I see my front wheel lose control and start going back and forth left and right I was Thinking I'm going down next Thing I know the car I saw pulled up next me I was knocked out for about thirty seconds I wasn't wearing a helmet my left leg and arm is missing skin I have a couple bumbs on my head and the worst headache ever in never going to bike without a helmet again

  • Added on March 22, 2010

    Last Wednesday while riding with a lifelong friend, our lives changed possibly forever. We were on our usual ride and something went terribly wrong. When I realized Jim was not with me I turned around to find him down. No car, we were on a bike trail, no reason but he was down. He was been in sicu with severe brain trauma, he has and will continue to be in a coma for a couple of weeks then hopefully when they bring him out we will see if there is any permanent brain injuries, of course we are hoping for the best he is in great physical condition and if anyone will have a complete recovery Jim will. Yes he had his helmet on, yes he was an experienced rider, it was an expensive helmet, however it did not do its job it did not protect the lower left rear of his head. When looking at the aerodynamics today they are cool , however cool is not good enough. Thank you for your efforts and do you have any recommendations?

  • Added on November 14, 2008

    Thank you for this chance to share our story, sorry if I can't tell this in fluent English. We live in Indonesia. On 22 October 2008, Wednesday afternoon, I got information from my sister in law that his son, my nephew, Ian, who was 9 years 10 months (student of grade 5 in state elementary school) old got accident, hit by a car when he's riding his bike on the way to his friend's home to have a learning group. He went there with his friends who's each of them ride a bike. Now (at that time) they already in hospital. She said, Ian got trauma in his head, (after I heard this I become pesimist and cried) she asked us to pray for Ian. Then I cried, and prayed and ask for God's help to save Ian. About 45 minutes later we got news Ian was gone. (4pm 22 October 2008). It's sadesst day in our family life, He gone so soon, God didn't give us chance or gave him chance to recover, trauma in his head and his left leg has broken because he got hit by car which driver said he drove in 40km/hours speed, but we didn't belive this since Ian has been throwed away about 10 metres from the hit point. It was like a nightmare for us, he have no helmet and off course use no helmet and same as otehr crash stroy we, never heard Ian already bike in big road although in small town, he is just 9 going to 10 years old, that day unfortunateky his father still in the office. It already happened, Ian already gone, and there is no use to get some one on guilty feelings because of Ian rode bikes that day. That day just only the 3rd day he rode his bike to his new friends, just about a week before he begun to have friends there. We still miss him, his parents and sister and brother still miss him, we hope Ian already get happines and piece. If only he used safety helmet (its not common in Indonesia) to use helmet when ride a bike, it is sad, yes...if only God gave us chance... We miss you Ian, let the world know about your story Ian, ...see you again Ian...sampai bertemu lagi Ian...but still I cry every time I miss you and want to hold you Ian,...

  • Added on October 23, 2008

    Sunday, May 11, 2008, Mothers Day, is the worst day of our lives. My Husband and I got a phone call from our Daughter, saying our Granddaughter was just hit by a car. Within the half hour she called back to tell us the horrific news that she was gone. She was 8 years old. The fact of the matter was, she was hit by a Dodge Ram Hemi pickup truck, while riding her bike in a dangerous road, but she had no helmet on. My Daughter (who we have a long history with her lack of proper parenting skills) let her ride her bike on not only a bad road, but didnt make her wear her helmet (she had one). Plus she shouldnt have let her in that road anyhow.

    Our Granddaughter died from massive head trauma. She died instantly. I firmly believe if she had a helmet on, she would be alive today.

    My husband and I have been trying to cope with her death. We are in grief counseling. It is unimaginable that she was autopsied. (I know what is done during an autopsy). We are devastated, in despair, pick all the words to describe this loss. The hardest part is knowing that she didnt have to die. Her death was preventable.

    I go to sleep every nite with her 'Meow Meow', a stuffed Build-a-Bear Cat that I bought her for Christmas 2006. Thats my little bit of comfort, something she loved.

  • Added on August 1, 2007

    Today my brother got hit by a truck while on a bike. It was the most terrifying thing of my life. My little 15 year old brother, (i am 17) got hit by a truck. He was not wearing a helmet and lucky for him the truck flew him almost 6 feet to the ditch with a soft landing. He is currently still in the hospital after being sent to another down for a CAT scan. Except for some very nerve wracking spells of low blood pressure, very high temperature, and dizziness he's been talking and stuff just fine. I am seriously gonna promote the use of helmets a lot more. I am very terrified for him, but am grateful of the nurses and doctors that worked on him.

  • Added on August 4, 2006

    When 16 year old Brian crashed without a helmet on his skateboard and died, his family established this skateboard safety site, Wearahelmet.org. Along with Brian's story is info on why skateboarders need helmets.

  • Added on July 25, 2006

    My 16 1/2 year old Nephew passed away on June 23, 2006. In the late morning hours of June 22nd my sister received a call that her son was take by helicopter to the hospital. He had a serious head injury due to hitting his head on the sidewalk. He was on his skateboard and did not have his helmet on. 24 hours latter he was pronounced brain dead. He never woke in the hospital. We never got to say good-bye. My sister is devastated. He was her only child. He had just finished his sophomore year of high school and was on his way to England for a summer trip. He had a girlfriend and wanted to be a History teacher. All of that is now gone because he didn't wear a helmet. Now all we can do is pass his story on and try and convince kids to wear their helmets.

  • Added on July 2, 2006

    Howdy: here is why you should always cover your cranium with some kind of protection. In 1992 I was on my Harley-Davidson, of course no helmet, and I was a invoved with a hit & run drunk driver. If I was wearing a helmet I would not have all though all the pain not to mention the 1 month coma but that's besides the point. ANYWAYS, ALWAYS USE SOMETHING TO COVER YOUR HEAD! Take this advice from a survivor.

  • Added on June 19, 2006

    I was on my honeymoon in southern Californian ,I was22 and my hubby and I went for a little bike ride by the beach ..he was always ahead of me and I was like gumby trailing behind..an experienced bike rider I was ..no helmet..I wizzed down a little hill rode my bike up onto a divider I thought I could jump off of ad guess what?It was a highway divider and my front wheel spun ..I was dead as a door nail if not for the Angel that revieved me..we still do not know his where abouts so maybe he was the real thing...it has been a long hard wierd wonderful journey .if not for Jesus my faith in God I would not have made it this far plus Family.....I recieved a frontal headinjury.. a crack that went across my head and slithered to the right side of my skull..lots of bruising ,blood clots and internal bleeding..I also had a battle scar in the back of my head thats what Mom calls it...something anyone war got from heavy artilliar explosions...anyway the journey back is the most interesting..its been 24 years and I am still alive....God Bless

  • Added on March 11, 2005

    i am a 17 year old highschool student in Verona, WI. Two years ago, when i was a freshmen, i had a TBI (traumatic Brain Injury) from a horrible ski accident. I was in an 8 day coma, and stayed in the hospital for a month and a week. I was temporarily paralyzed on my left side (since i hit the right side of my head.) I have learned several essons through my traumatic injury, and through my vigorous recovery period. I now give helmet safety speeches to elemenatry students.. Because, had not i been wearing my helmet the night of my injury, i would not be alive today. It is so important to me to spread helmet safety awareness by sharing my experience.

  • Added on February 28, 2005

    On Feb. 26 2005. About two days ago, I had my first major crash. I live in Florida and lately the weather has sucked. It has been cold and rainy. It was the first clear day in a while and I had that day off from work. In that case, class was out of the question. I was out there by 9 am, took a break for about an hour and returned. I kept trying this one trick I can't seem to land. FYI-I'm a chick and I skateboard when I get the chance, I'm not awesome, but I'm better than a lot of guys. I was going down the twinkie and up the quarter pipe. I was so warmed up by 6 PM that night. I went down the small pool and up the twinky. On my way down the twinkie, this random roller blader decided to drop in to the half pipe (diagnally to my right) and hop the corner (which by the way, he couldn't see over) completely colliding into my face. His speed and mine landed his teeth into my cheek cutting it and my eye (as I type) is swollen closed. It's mostly red and purple and my left cheek/nose/eye is swollen to the same size. It doesn't hurt, except my teeth. I feel like my whole top left row is rearranged. I want to skate today, but I look like Tom Cruise on Vanilla Sky.

  • Added on October 28, 2004

    I was doing research for a speech on helmets for college and ran across all the stories of people and their accidents and decided to tell my dads story. He is truly a miracle. August 1, 2001, 3 days from his 51st birthday and he was flying downhill and almost got hit by a car but swerved to miss and flew over his handlebars and smacked his head on the curb with no helmet. He was rushed to the ER and found that he had a 2 centimeter brain bleed and they did emergency surgery. After the surgery the doctor put him in a medical coma for 6 weeks. He had to have dialysis 2 times a day for three weeks and a blood transfusion at least 3 times daily. The doctors monitored his ICP (inter cranial pressure) and his highest ICP was 62. A normal person's is 10 with a headache. They told us that he had a 10% chance of living and if he did live he was going to be a vegetable. They told us to put him in a nursing home, but I couldn't do that, he is my dad. I took care of him while mom worked and we went to therapy (physical, speech, and occupational) every day for 3 hours a day, to relearn how to walk, talk, write, read. He was basically a 51 year old baby relearning how to live. Today he still has aphasia really bad (where he doesn't know the right word), he gets his numbers mixed up and he can't remember people's names, but he is driving again, he is working again, and he is living and he is not a vegetable. He will never be the same as he was before the accident but it's all worth it to have him alive. He was in the hospital a total of 80 days and 6 weeks in a coma. Medical bills totaled $1 million dollars (luckily they have insurance). My father as the doctors call him is a miracle.

  • Added on July 25, 2004

    Tragic story. My mom recently passed away due to head injuries from a horse accident. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, I am only 29 and am already missing out on so much. The thing that keeps eating at me is that she did not have a helmet on while riding. Our horses are trail horses and are generally mild tempered. I will never know what happened out there and I will never know if a helmet could have saved her life, but maybe she would have had a chance. My brother, his family and I just celebrated his son's first birthday on July 14th, our mom should have been there. I don't know if I can help or if anyone is even listening. I just have to say that helmet's are not just for motor cycles or bikes but I do know that if mom had one on maybe she would be here today.

  • Added on April 24, 2004

    My story is not about a helmet saving me because I wasn't wearing one at the time. I was nine, riding my bicicle trying to catch my friend. He was going way too fast, I told him to slow way down. He said "Make Me!" So I went faster and faster! I lost control of the bike and fell. I was very badly hurt. I had a split open hand, cracked head, and a broken leg. I was rushed to the hospital and got 60 stitches in my head, cast on my leg, and 12 stitches in my hand. I always wear a bike helmet now and even though my helmet is a bit too big of one, I now MAKE my son who is six 1/2 wear it. I will be buying him a new one because of my injuries. If he ever gets hurt like I did I would feel terrible. He is only six and skates, roller blades, and is a BMX for kids rider, I MAKE him wear a helmet every time he gets on his bikes, or skates. My older brother was killed in a bike axcedent only it was a motor cycle. WEAR YOUR HELMET.

  • Added on April 23, 2004

    April 23, 2004 i was riding my bike down to my friends ramp and on the way there i hit his dirt jump and crashed. I was knocked out for 3 minutes or so. i did not have my helmet on so it probably made things worse. Please people where your helmet i am s pro at what i do and still got hurt all you kids that think helmets look stupid well i wish i would of had one the day i fell so please where your helmets.

  • Added on March 1, 2004

    Hi my name is Skyler and I want to share my crash story. Last year in 2003 I was riding my bike trying to catch up with my neighbor and I read a story like this and thought how lucky am I that this was not me? Any-way, my dog (Austrailian Shepard) Ran after my friend and rand in front of my bike tire and I was nine at this time flew over the handle bars and luckly only walked a way with a scar on my hand. The reason I say I was lucky is because I had NO helmet!If I would have fallen on my head I wouldn't be typing this. And Just yesterday my mom and I decided I will buy and WEAR a helmet. In my case God was watching over me!!! Well if you could please put my message on crash at helmets.org!


  • Added on December 29, 2003

    A dear friend of mine, who rode on the Iowa 150 bike ride across America, wore a helmet every day of the ride, and didn't have any mishaps. Ironically, not long after completing the Iowa 150, this same gentleman rode his bike two blocks from his R.V., to the convenience store in the campground that he and his wife were staying in. Since he only had to go two blocks, he figured he didn't need his helmet. He was wrong. He got hit by a car, and died of massive head injuries. If he had been wearing a helmet, he'd be alive today.

  • Added on September 8, 2003

    I just recently lost my sister in a bicycle accident that took her life. The official date was August 18th, but she was actually brain dead the day of the accident - August 17th at 10:15 in the morning 2003. My sister was 61 in July. She had been riding bicycles for many years now and back in 1997 had taken a bike ride from the West coast to the East coast that took somewhere about 2 and 1/2 months. She was preparing again to make another trip next year. But this year in one of her training rides with her riding partner that came to an end. They both had their bob trailers, as this was a new part of the trip preparation. Last time she did not trail all her supplies, this time she was going to. What happened was the bob trailer for some reason forced the bicycle out of control when she was decending a hill about 20 miles per hour. When she came of the bike, she hit face first and it was over. She was doing what she loved to do and that is the blessing. But from this, I look to better protection for those that continue to love riding.

    Note: BHSI has a page up on Full Face Helmets.


  • Added on September 7, 2003

    This one was too long, and too good to cut. It is a scooter crash story.


  • Added on August 25, 2003

    On Mother's day 2001, my brother Jon was skateboarding home from a day at the beach in Orange County, CA. Jon rode his skate board daily, and was convinced that helmet wearing for daily rides was not necessary. He had had some pretty bad accidents in the past and walked away fine. However on May 12th 2001, he wasn't so lucky. As he crossed the street 30 feet from his place of residence, he was struck by a car. The impact of the car broke his leg in several places, as well as several of his ribs. While these injuries can heal, the trauma he sustained to his head could not. As my brother died in my arms the ER doc told me that his death could have easily been prevented by wearing a helmet. Helmets are essential for every ride !! Always!! No Exceptions!!

  • Added on August 21, 2003

    i was riding for two blooks so i didn't wear a helmet. it started to rain. i was making a left turn and the wind blow hard. i hit the curb and i fell on the sidewalk. i broke tree ribs, collar, and the shoulder.

  • Added on August 21, 2003

    I live in South Carolina. A state that does not reqiure helmet on Motorcycle Riders over the age of Eighteen. I was one of those that DIDN"T wear a helmet unless it was rainingt. My wife and my self were on our way to her job interveiw. After that it looked like was going to rain and we put our helmets on not 10 minutes later we got struck by a tow-truck (their fault) My wife was thrown about 100 ft you could see the impressoins in the ground, where her head bounced luckly the ground was soft due to alot of rain her helmet a full face was broke in the part that went across her face. She had some seroius brusing that if not wearing the helmet her faced would have been crushed. She did end up losing her right leg below the knee and the tip of her right finger. I Am so thankful that that day we had put them on. not so much beacuse of the carlessness of my self but by the not being seen by other motorist. I my self had my right foot about tore off, knee blown out and 6 inches of femur powdered. but no head injurie. My helmet had a large chunck missing from the side. 28 surgeries later in 3 years and one pending now. God blessed us both that day from death. I do not think about what would have happened if we were not wearing those helmets that it from some one who really knows WEAR YOUR HELMET....Ask yourself Aren't I And mine worth it !!!!!!!!

  • Link added in 2004, but the injury was earlier

    I am a mother of a 15 year old son who just passed away. He was hanging out with his friends on his skateboard near a picnic area in our apartment complex. The skateboard went out from under him and without a helmet on he hit his head on a concrete picnic table. He was discharged from the hospital and told he would be fine and to enjoy his life. Twelve hours later he started dying and by noon on the 27th he was brain dead and I had to make the decision to let him go. This has been a horrifying experience for me and my daughters. It has left a huge hole in our heart and an ache in our souls. I do not want anyone to have to experience this type of dreadful loss and have since given speeches at both of his funerals and at three schools. I have a presentation that really makes you learn the importance of helmet safety and also definitely makes parents and families not want to be us.

  • Link added in 2006: Cycle Safe

    This Web site was inspired by the traumatic injury of Harry Landymore, a six year old who crashed without a helmet and nearly died. The "long story" of Harry's crash and his parents' agony is memorable.


    This page was last revised on: the date of the first item at the top.

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