Branson: "Helmet saved my life"

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson 'cheats death' in bike crash.

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Sir Richard Branson has told of how he feared he would die when he was involved in a horrific bicycle crash on Monday (22 August). The Virgin tycoon and entrepreneur, 66, crashed head first onto a road while he was on a training cycle run with his two adult children Holly and Sam. He was left with a badly damaged cheek and suffered severe cuts to his knee, chin, shoulder and body in the accident on Virgin Gorda, one of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. Sir Richard 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.
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"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, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life. "My bike 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."
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He said the first person to arrive on the scene after the crash was his assistant Helen Clarke, who he claimed to have told: “I’m alive! At least you’ve still got a job.” He added: “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." He travelled to Miami, USA for x-rays and scans, and described himself as "extremely fortunate" to have only suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments.
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Sir Richard said: "My biggest hardship is having to drink tea out of a straw." He was cycling with his children as part of his training for next month's Virgin Strive Challenge, an endurance event from the base of the Matterhorn in the Alps to the summit of Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy.
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