Adventure-loving billionaire Richard Branson was badly injured Thursday in a high-speed bicycle crash, and the founder of Virgin Group said he feared at the time he would die.
As it turned out, Branson suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments in the incident in the British Virgin Islands.
Branson is quoted in The New York Post describing when he hit what he called a “sleeping policeman” — a British term for what Americans call a speed bump. The crash occurred on a training ride as Branson was riding with his two adult children.
“I went cycling on Virgin Gorda with Holly and Sam as part of my training for the Virgin Strive Challenge,” Branson 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.”
The Post notes that Branson had an encounter with a deadly stingray just a few months ago.
The report quotes Branson saying of the cycling wreck: “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.”
Branson noted that his bike flew off a cliff and disappeared.
“As I landed, once I realized I was alive, I began testing my movement,” he added. “I really couldn’t believe I was alive, let alone not paralyzed.”