Sir Richard Branson says he’s lucky to be alive barely surviving a head-on collision while riding his bicycle.
According to Britain’s Sun, the Virgin mogul was cycling with his children in the British Virgin Islands when the accident occurred.
“I went cycling on Virgin Gorda with Holly and Sam as part of my training for the Virgin Strive Challenge,” Branson tells The Sun.
“I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a ‘sleeping policeman’ hump in the road head on. The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes.”
Branson admits he thought that it was all over. “I really thought I was going to die,” he says. “I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.”
His bike, he explains, “went flying off the cliff and disappeared. We’ve since recovered the crumpled bicycle, completely destroyed. My cheek has been badly damaged and my knee, chin, shoulder and body severely cut.”
After he landed on the ground, Branson was thrilled to discover he could still move. “I really couldn’t believe I was alive, let alone not paralyzed. Coincidentally, the first person to arrive on the scene was my assistant Helen, who had just returned from holiday. She was wondering who was lying prostrate on the road. I was so glad to be alive that I quickly was able to summon my sense of humour, and said to her: ‘I’m alive! At least you’ve still got a job!’”
After the crash, Branson was taken to Miami for X-rays, which revealed he had suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments.
“I hopefully will be able to complete the Virgin Strive Challenge next month,” he added. “My biggest hardship is having to drink tea out of a straw. Oh, and being called elephant man by a six year old!”
With his characteristic brashness, Branson shared some photos of his nasty injuries on Twitter.