Billionaire Richard Branson survives bike crash

SIR Richard Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash close to a cliff edge that left him needing hospital treatment.

In a blog post posted on the Virgin website on Friday 26 August, Branson said how he "really couldn't believe I was alive, let alone not paralysed" following the crash a couple of night's previously.

Branson took the moral of the story to be always wear a helmet, which he said "saved his life". Later, it was found, "crumpled and completely destroyed".

The entrepreneur was "hurled over the handlebars" of his bike and landed head-first on concrete badly bruising his cheek and suffering severe cuts to his knee, chin, shoulder and body.

Read the rest of the story now on Virgin.com and see a photo of Richard's bruises below.

The tycoon was quickly flown to Miami for X-rays and scans, and described himself as "extremely fortunate" to have walked away from the accident without anything worse.

The 66-year-old owner of Virgin, who is worth nearly £4 bn (us$5.3bn) didn't exactly have a near-death experience, but did suffer torn ligaments and a cracked cheek after being taken to Miami for X-rays and scans following the accident on Monday. "At least you've still got a job!"

Sir Richard, who lives on his private Caribbean island of Necker, was in neighbouring Virgin Gorda when the accident happened.

Money raised through the event will benefit the Big Change youth entrepreneurship charity, which was founded by Branson's children.

"Oh, and being called elephant man by a six year old", says Branson about his current state. "At least I'm practicing what I preach-though a little too literally!" he wrote.

Branson said it was one of many brushes with death he has had over the years.

He attempted the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing, but his boat capsized and he and his crew had to be rescued by helicopter.

  • Carolyn Briggs