Biker dodges death by the skin of his jacket (VIDEO)
Dashcam footage from the driver behind Jankowski captured the moment a floating foam pad fell off the back of a boat being towed. It landed directly in front of Jankowski, giving him a split second to either stay the course or swerve.
"When I saw it coming undone, I really couldn't believe it," Jankowski told KSTP.
“I didn’t want to just swerve and possibly hit a car and get run over so I tried to get to the furthest part of the right of my lane,” Jankowski told KMSP. “I checked to see if the [next] lane was clear, and you know the rest.”
He was not able to clear the object in time to avoid hitting it. The two collided, throwing him off of his motorcycle, tumbling onto Interstate-94’s pavement.
"When I hit the ground I just kind of tucked and rolled. I didn't blackout either because of my helmet which did its job,” Jankowski told KSTP.
Luckily for Jankowski, he had followed the basic safety guidelines for motorcyclists and worn a helmet along with a jacket that covered his arms. That jacket had been purchased 30 minutes before the accident.
"I just bought the jacket that day thinking I'd come back next week and get the gear and have the full set," Jankowski told KMSP. "I happened to use the jacket I just bought to help save me quite a bit of pain."
Indeed, Jankowski walked away from a potentially fatal accident with only scrapes, bruises and road rash. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his 2015 Yamaha that he had purchased only a few weeks prior to the accident. The motorcycle cartwheeled to the right shoulder of the highway.
Andrea Sears of Sirens MC New York City explained to RT: “It’s not just a jacket, it’s the helmet, and it’s the boots. It’s all the gear, all the time. The rule is critical; the effect of pavement on skin is incredible.”
When asked what Jankowski could have done differently, Sears explained that seeing a situation of that nature unfold in real time is very different than watching it from a screen, saying: “It’s hard to second-guess someone in those circumstances.”
Linda Leverty recorded the incident on her dashcam, which she had purchased to record wildlife. And she certainly taped something wild.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d catch anything like this,” Leverty, 55, told the New York Daily News.
“I don’t want to see something like that again,” she also told the Minnesota Star Tribune.
The driver of the SUV towing the boat has since come forward to take responsibility for the June 18 crash. He was apparently oblivious that the water carpet had fallen off the back of the boat he was towing. The investigation is still ongoing, and Jankowski has not announced any plans for recourse against the driver.
However, the Minnesota State Patrol is using Jankowski’s brush with the highway as a lesson to other drivers this summer. They encourage drivers to spend a few extra dollars on ratchet straps instead of using twine or rope. In addition, Jed Duncan of Rider Academy in St. Paul told KMSP that motorcyclists should practice sudden stops.
“Even if you don’t get it stopped, if you can get it slowed down, it’s going to hurt a lot less,” he explained.
For riders hitting the roads over the holiday weekend, Sears stresses “maintaining a safe distance, being aware of your surroundings.” She adds: “You have to assume that things will go wrong because they can very quickly and it can end very badly.”