- Nov 5, 2014
I found these forums while looking for information about my RZR. Google was my friend! I've only had my 800-S for a couple of months, I traded in my Sportsman 850 HO that had only 95 miles on it. And two payments. Some may ask why? 10 May of this year I was riding my quad 23 miles north of Lake Pleasant on Cow Creek road. I was riding alone. It was more of a sightseeing thing and I was riding mellow and the worst thing that I could have imagined happened. I was involved in a low speed accident, just my quad and I was thrown off of it. I face planted a post that was holding barbed wire. My neck hurt like hell when I stood up. I knew in my heart that I was terribly injured. There was no phone service at that point and it was early and no one was riding. The quad had idled down the hill about 100 yards and it was the hardest 100 yards I ever walked. My only choice was to ride for help. Some might say I should have stayed put, but when I was 20 years old my cousin Mitch had died alone in the desert with a broken neck. I was going to get help or die trying. I rode back 20 miles to where my truck was staged, standing up on the quad cuz it hurt too much to sit. Luckily as I pulled in to where I was staged there were two couples getting ready to ride. I asked for one of the guys to help me, I told him I thought I was gravely injured and could he 1) call for paramedics 2) roll the quad into my trailer and lock it so I could send someone to get it. He sat me down in one of those folding hammock type chairs and his buddy came over and stood behind me to make sure the chair wouldn't fall over. I never lost consciousness during the ordeal and as we waited for Peoria F.D. he asked me if I had taken my helmet off. I told him no and he said it was cracked bad. Paramedics showed up and did their thing and I was airlifted to John C Lincoln on 3rd St. By this time they'd given me all kinds of pain meds and some of the trauma center was a blur, but I recall about 7 or 8 people working on me. At the time I didn't realize how badly I was hurt. The surgeon came in to see me and told me I'd broken my C2 vertebrae, in what is commonly called "the hangman's break". He said it was incredible that I survived the crash, and the ride back for help. Typically when the C2 goes the victim is paralyzed from the neck down, including the diaphragm which results in suffocation and death. I was able to move all my fingers and toes and the doc told me that miracle was a good description for what happened. So he scheduled surgery which meant fusing my C2 to my C3 vertebrae with a plate. They go in thru the front. He cut my throat, pushed my windpipe and other stuff to the side and installed the plate. This was on a Saturday just about 1 p.m. I woke up Monday around noon, intubated and catheterized. Evidently my O2 levels weren't up to snuff so they kept me in a coma for a day till the levels rose to acceptable. I wore a cervical collar for 4 months after that. I was able to go home 5 days after my accident. A broken necks feels exactly what you think it would feel like. I didn't eat for 3 weeks after the accident. It took another 2 months before I wasn't nauseous at the thought of food. If you've done the math you'll see that as of this posting I'm about a month or so free of the collar. I'm completely healed and have 95% of full range of movement in my neck. Once I felt good enough to go out I took the Sportsman back to the dealership and traded it in on an 800-S LE. Best choice I've made in years! I wish I'd have known how much fun the RZR is, I'd have never bought the quad in the first place. IMHO it's at least a factor of 10 more fun than something you straddle. I've been out the past 3 weekends riding. And never alone. I've learned a few things from my accident. Freak accidents happen. I have the accident on video (Go Pro). Totally not impressive to watch. The quad came up on 2 wheels, barely. I was thrown off to the side. And I've heard at least a hundred times since the accident "you shouldn't have been riding alone". Again, a good idea but I really was riding slow. If I was to guess the speed at which I was thrown off the bike I'd say max was 20mph. Freak accidents happen. I've crashed as a kid doing BMX and motorcycles. Crashed on 3 wheelers and motorcycles as an adult. Been hit in motor vehicles by other drivers. I wasn't expecting a low speed almost fatal injury. I ride my RZR with a passenger. We wear helmets, no exceptions. In Arizona. In the summer. I bought the LE edition cuz it had PRP buckets, to which I've installed 5 point PRP harnesses. What stands out about my accident has nothing to do with the bike, the terrain, the temperature out or the fact that I was alone. In fact, it's one of the main reasons why I love motorsports. It's the people. The folks that helped me weren't any nicer or more caring or better people. They were what I've experienced my whole life with other people who love motorsports. People willing to stop and help someone else they don't even know. To interrupt their limited time to help the next guy that's broken down or needs medical assistance. It's folks like you here on the forums that make this sport as fun as it is. Thank god for the internet so that we can share info on our rides, where to ride, cool new gear and how to troubleshoot or fix a problem. Thanks for reading my long winded post. I just wanted to say hi to the rest of you who have the same addiction that I have. Riding.