A bike rider seriously injured in a Doncaster crash has spoken for the first time of the terrifying moments he thought he was about to die.
Karl Burns says he was lucky to survive the collision on a country lane as he made his way to work - and is pleading for other drivers to be more aware of motorcycles.
Last year there were 18 serious collisions involving bikers, and one motorcyclist was killed.
Karl, a 41-year-old warehouseman from Bentley, will be one of the statistics for 2013 after he somersaulted through the air three times before hitting the ground on Fordstead Lane, at Thorpe Marsh, near Barnby Dun.
He was airlifted to hospital in Sheffield and is now back home recovering from a double fracture of the pelvis, a broken right wrist, three fractures of his left hand, and ruptured ankle ligaments.
“I’m very lucky to be alive,” he said. “When I realised I couldn’t avoid the collision I thought, ‘This is it’ and that I would be dead.”
South Yorkshire Police say a silver Audi A4 was travelling along Fordstead Lane towards Arksey when it is believed the driver turned right into Marsh Lane, across the path of Karl’s red Yamaha R6 motorbike, heading along Fordstead Lane towards Barnby Dun.
Karl said: “I was travelling to work at Thorne and usually go that way. It was a nice sunny morning and I came round a slight left hand bend.
“I noticed a car coming from the opposite direction with its right indicator on. I remember thinking, ‘I hope it doesn’t turn in front of me’ - and then it did.
“I slammed the brakes on but it was too late and I hit the car. I went over the handlebars and somersaulted three times. If I hadn’t been wearing a good quality helmet and proper motorcycle leathers it would have been a lot worse.
“I was conscious all the time but couldn’t move, so I just lay there until a woman driver stopped and called the emergency services.
“Some workmen from the power station site came over to give first aid until the paramedics arrived.”
Because Karl failed to arrive at work his girlfriend, Karen Charnock, and his boss began to fear something bad had happened and their worries were confirmed when Karl rang Karen from A&E.
Karl has been discharged from hospital but has been told it will be at least three months before he can return to work.
Through his insurers he will be seeking compensation from the car driver and has echoed the police appeal for witnesses to the smash on Friday, July 19.
“This is the first serious accident I’ve had on the bike since I got it seven years ago when I passed my motorcycle test,” he said.
“I’d like to say to other drivers, please look out for bikers all the time, because we are so vulnerable.”
The Audi driver, a 33-year-old man from Pontefract, suffered slight whiplash. He was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary but released following treatment.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision or anyone who saw the vehicles before or just after the impact.
Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 257 of July 19.