Southern California is home to some amazing canyon roads that are enjoyed by drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists alike. Driving them, though, you often see remnants on the road of a ride gone too hairy: skid marks, a dented guardrail, pieces of plastic, metal or glass on the side of the road. Sometimes these accidents are fatal. Luckily for Matthew Murray, who rode his motorcycle over the edge of a cliff on a drive through the Santa Monica Mountains, he lived to tell the tale, as CBS Los Angeles reports.
Bedridden, Murray talks about what went through his head as he missed the corner and became airborne before plunging into the bushes 250 feet from the road, moments he caught on a GoPro camera he was using to record the ride. “It processed immediately in my head that you’re gonna die,” Murray said from bed. In the video, he and his Yamaha tumble, then come to rest for over a minute before Murray finally begins to make noise. He called for help, but nobody heard him.
“I tried to walk to my motorcycle to get to my phone and call 911,” he said, “but I couldn’t walk downhill so I just turned around and halfway up the hill I went into shock.” Eventually he made it back to the road and flagged down help.
The 27-year-old said he’s been riding for six years, and that he thinks the problem was with the bike’s steering, and not rider error. “I love taking corners … but this corner wasn’t even sharp, and I was only doing like 40 miles an hour and I went to lean into this turn and this bike would not let lean,” he said. From the video, he appears to enter the corner at closer to 60 mph, and is still going over 40 mph when he hits the gravel shoulder.
Murray is laid up for the next few months to recover from a number of injuries including, according to his fundraiser, a broken back, collarbone, hip, pelvis, sternum, sacrum, and two punctured lungs. He said he’s giving up motorcycle riding.