Updated on: 2/22/2019
Photo by Jeffrey Chen
A local motorcyclist was fortunate enough to walk away from a major wreck on Interstate 5 without any serious injuries this week, and he has the video footage to prove just how lucky he was.
Jeffrey Chen, a 22-year-old software developer who works in South Lake Union, was in the midst of his morning commute on Tuesday in the express lanes of I-5. As it always does on weekday mornings, traffic came to a halt as he approached the Mercer Street exit. As he slowed down with the traffic ahead of him, Chen recalls hearing the screeching of tires from behind and immediately knew something bad was about to happen.
“Once I hear the tires squealing, it’s already too late,” he said, explaining that the sounds came from the Subaru Outback driving behind him as it was rear-ended by another driver. That first collision caused the Subaru to crash into the back of Chen’s motorcycle.
The impact ejected Chen from his bike, which continued skidding down the freeway before essentially disintegrating into small pieces. He landed on the shoulder of the freeway and says his backpack served as a cushion between him and the road. You can see the damage done to Chen’s bike in the photo above.
Lingering Effects of Motorcycle Crash
“I’m kind of glad the Subaru driver was there that day,” he says, explaining that he believes he could have been killed if the first vehicle had struck him directly instead of hitting the Subaru first. “In a way, she saved my life at the cost of her health.”
Watch the video recorded from Chen's helmet camera below:
As if the collision wasn’t already on a constant replay loop in his memory, Chen also captured a first-person account of the violent crash on a helmet camera he never thought he’d need to use. And the emotional trauma has him wondering whether or not the risks of another serious motorcycle accident outweigh the joy of riding.
“I feel like I can’t get on another motorcycle without friends and family seriously worrying about me,” he says, adding that his mother was not thrilled after seeing the video. “She said her heart stopped [after seeing the video]. Skipped a beat.”