A bicyclist in London, England, is lucky to be alive after a turning car slammed into him as he pedaled along in a bike lane at more than 20 mph — and the whole heart-stopping incident was caught on his helmet-cam video.
Jack Thoburn posted the video on YouTube a month ago, but the amazing clip is just going viral this week, showing a crash that sends the 27-year-old bicyclist flying head-over-heels through the air — a disaster that could easily have ended with Thoburn breaking his neck, winding up paralyzed or even dead.
Instead, he lands on his feet. The video must be seen to be believed.
One warning, the video contains a moment of profanity, when Thoburn realizes that he cannot avoid colliding with the errant driver and he yells at the turning car to “f*** off!”
“A couple of seconds earlier I would have hit the front of the car and ended up in the road, under a car, or even worse,” Thoburn told The Romford Recorder, the local paper in the London suburb where the accident took place. “A few seconds later and I would have hit the side of the car and could have broken my neck.”
Though this ride was only the second one in which Thoburn wore his helmet camera, the video came in handy when the woman who drove the car disputed his account of the collision with the insurance company.
The bicyclist said that the driver initially apologized and took responsibility for nearly killing him. But when the insurance company came calling, she sang a different tune.
“I’m not quite sure how I wasn’t seen,” Thoburn wrote on the video’s YouTube page. “I’m over six feet and was wearing a bright blue jacket. If I was seen then it’s a very bad judgement in my speed.”
Though there was a brief delay in getting his insurance claim paid due to the driver arguing with Thoburn’s version of events, as soon as the bicyclist handed over the video, everything was cleared up.
The video shows the black Citroen making a right turn — the equivalent of a left turn on U.S. roads — directly across the bike lane and into Thoburn’s path.
“I just about got my hands to the brakes (it can just be seen on the frame before impact),” the bicyclist wrote. “But I had no chance of stopping.”
Thoburn posted the video to promote bicycle safety awareness.
“We need awareness from drivers that we have as much right to be on the road as drivers,” the bicyclist said. “And we need awareness from cyclists as well, there are as many bad cyclists as there are bad drivers.”