‘I thought I was going to die’: Tycoon Richard Branson reveals how he cheated death in high-speed bike crash when he smashed head first onto the road on the British Virgin Islands
• Virgin tycoon Sir Richard was on a training cycle run with his children
• They were on British Virgin Islands when horrifying incident happened
• 66-year-old billionaire was taken to Miami, Florida, for X-rays and scans
• Medics there found he had suffered torn ligaments and a cracked cheek The 66-year-old Virgin tycoon was on a training cycle run with his two children Holly and Sam Sir Richard was cycling on the British Virgin Islands when the incident happened on Monday He said: ‘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. I really thought I was going to die. ‘I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact.’
Sir Richard added that wearing a helmet saved his life, and his bicycle went flying off the cliff’. He continued: ‘I really couldn’t believe I was alive, let alone not paralyzed.’ The first person to arrive on the scene was his assistant Helen Clarke, whom he claims to have told: ‘I’m alive! At least you’ve still got a job.’
Sir Richard, who is worth nearly £4billion, was taken to Miami, Florida, for X-rays and scans One of his team sprinted over to help him and he was taken to Miami for treatment One of his team sprinted over to help him and he was taken to Miami for treatment, but admitted he had been ‘extremely fortunate’ with his lack of major injuries.
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.
‘My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again.’
The accident took place on the fifth anniversary of the fire on his private residence of Necker Island, which gutted his £75million house and led to it being rebuilt.
On Tuesday his Twitter account posted CCTV images appearing to show Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn walking past empty unreserved train seats before he was filmed sitting on the floor complaining about ‘ram-packed’ carriages on a Virgin service. Sir Richard said that wearing a helmet saved his life, and his bicycle went flying off the cliff’ Sir Richard (file picture) said he had been ‘extremely fortunate’ with his lack of major injuries Blaze: The accident took place on the fifth anniversary of the fire on his private residence of Necker Island in 2011, which gutted his £75million house and led to it being rebuilt SIR RICHARD’S VARIOUS INJURIES AND BRUSHES WITH DEATH • The incident comes six months after Sir Richard told how he had beenbitten by a ‘shark’ while swimming with dozens of stingrays in the Cayman Islands.
• During the same trip he also smashed his head into a glass door while out shopping – and he has knocked teeth out twice while playing tennis over the past year.
• And in 1985, his speedboat famously capsized in high seas about 140 miles from the Isles of Scilly as he tried to set a record for the fastest-ever Atlantic crossing.
• Sir Richard added in his blog post today that he had experienced ‘many brushes with death, not least in my ballooning adventures’.
• From 1995 to 1998 he made several attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon with Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett.