There are 11 miles of Route 129, near the North Carolina/Tennessee border that is known as the “Tail of the Dragon.” Bordered by the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains, the road boasts 318 curves, beckoning motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country to test their mettle. But each year, there is at least one person killed in a motorcycle accident while driving on the Dragon, and others accident victims, who are fortunate to survive, often suffer serious injuries.
In the past twenty years of recordkeeping, the year with the most motorcycle crash deaths was 2009, when five people were killed while riding the Dragon. And 2016 appears to be catching up, with the deaths of four people killed on the Dragon so far.
The latest deadly motorcycle crash on the Dragon has gone viral because of a farewell cell phone video one of the victims made while he lay at the bottom of a 100-foot embankment. The 41-year-old Pennsylvania man was riding the Dragon with his 29-year-old friend. As the two men were traveling down the curvy, twisted road, his friend suddenly hit the brakes on his bike, and the man’s bike slammed into his friend’s. Both men and their bikes went flying over the embankment and down a steep hill. His friend died in the crash.
As the man lay trapped, unable to move because of all the broken bones and other injuries he had, he made a goodbye video to his family, addressing his wife and parents. The video is now on YouTube. Although he made the video because he thought he would die from his injuries before he was found, the man still tried to call attention to passing vehicles, desperately hoping someone would find him. He called out and used his phone flashlight, but no one saw him. He had tried calling and sending messages from his cell phone, but could not get service, so nothing went through.
Approximately 30 hours later, two people on their motorcycles happen to pull over and stop in the exact spot above where the man lay dying. They heard the man call out, but could not see him, and went and got help. The victim was finally pulled up and airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center. Doctors found he had two punctured lungs, two breaks in his spine, a dozen ribs broken in 17 different spots, and multiple areas of road rash.
Given that the victim in this motorcycle crash suffered from such severe injuries, it is miraculous that he was found, rescued, and survived this deadly crash. Our North Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys have successfully represented many victims of crashes and families of victims who were killed in crashes and understand the horrific impact these crashes have on their lives.