My first motorcycle accident

From Red Cross Chat

This story was originally posted on We’d like to give a hearty, “way to go!” to everyone who’s Red Cross certified and ready. Do you have a story like Morgan’s? Share it with us in the comments.  Below is an excerpt:image

First – no, I was not riding a motorcycle and don’t think I ever will. I did, however, witness a motorcycle accident today and was first on the scene to provide assistance. About two months ago I was certified by the Red Cross in CPR and First Aid.

In my class they prepared me for situations like this and I was surprised at how well I was able to handle the pressure. So what happened?

I was dropping my girlfriend off at her lab in UCLA and we stopped to get a tasty burger and In-N-Out Burger. The security guard apparently had just bought a new motorcycle and was showing it to his friend who worked at the restaurant. His friend hopped on the bike and started driving alongside the cars in the drive-through lane.

I turned to my girlfriend and said,

“whenever someone lets a friend test-drive their motorcycle it never turns out well.”

About ten seconds later we hear the distinctive sound of a CRASH. Being trained in First Aid only a short time ago I was prepared for the situation. I jumped-out of my car and grabbed my First Aid kit with CPR mask, gloves, etc. The driver was lying motionless on the ground with his head resting on his hands. Everyone started to run over to him. I pointed to one person and said

“call 911 and tell them to send an ambulance.”

I then started speaking to the victim and asked him where he felt pain. He indicated that his ankle hurt very badly and he felt pain in his shoulders. I told him not to move at all and asked if he was having any trouble breathing. It is also essential that you keep the crowd away and limit the surrounding area to the person on the phone with 911 and yourself. With too many people it could be easy for someone to trip and fall on the victim potentially causing more damage.

In an accident like this you want to keep the person talking as it is likely they are suffering from a concussion along with their other injuries. Obviously breathing is essential so you want to make sure they are able to breathe and be prepared to give CPR if they lose consciousness. I waited with him and continued to keep him talking and focusing on staying awake. The ambulance arrived and they put a neck brace on him, loaded him onto a backboard and took him to the hospital.

It felt good to be able to assist in this situation and I hope that by having this basic training I was able to provide the best possible care until the paramedics arrived. I’m going to call the emergency room tonight and see if I can get an update on his status. I will feel a lot better knowing what the final outcome was.

I would suggest anyone that hasn’t done so already to take the time (and spend the small amount of money) to get certified by Red Cross. It takes only one weekend day and by knowing what to do in an accident you can stay calm and help save someones life. Well, that’s enough excitement for one day! I hope everyone had a great weekend and stay-away from Motorcycles – I hope this is a reminder for everyone about just how dangerous motorcycles are!


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