‘I feel like my toes are being cut off
A biker who ‘died’ three times and was left with life-changing injuries in a 63mph collision with a 4 x 4 is urging all road users to keep a closer eye out for hazards.
Mark Frost, 40, was brought back to life by a paramedic after the crash in Fiskerton and was further resuscitated twice in hospital.
He had been doing 85mph and had only managed to slow down to 63mph by the point of impact.
He told his story on BBC1’s Real Rescues.
Mr Frost, a former forklift driver who is now a tattooist, new shares his ordeal with the Echo, as official figures show 67 bikers were killed on Lincolnshire’s roads since 2010 – with 16 biker deaths last year alone.
The latest high profile deaths so far this year are Powys-Llewellyn Cook, 21, and James Weston, killed in separate crashes within three weeks of each other.
Mr Cook, from Grantham was on his way to Mr Weston’s funeral when he was killed in a crash on the B1176 Corby Road in Bitchfield on June 7.
Mr Weston was killed when his Honda motorcycle collided with a Honda Jazz car in Grange Lane, Balderton, Nottinghamshire.
Mr Frost said: “I broke my humerous, and my back in three places, had gravel rash down one side of my body, had 55 per cent of my large bowel and 12cm of my small bowel removed, had a hole in my liver and a punctured lung.
“I’d ‘died three times and I have type one diabetes due to complications from surgery.
“I spent six months on the sofa recovering and I still suffer the effects of the crash in June 2004 to this day.
“I have neuropathy – nerve damage – and sometimes I feel like my toes are being cut off.”
Mr Frost, formerly of Florence Street, Lincoln, who still takes to the road on his bike and is now a tattooist in Cornwall, added: “I’m now much more observant of what could be coming out of farm tracks and junctions and I think all bikers and car drivers need to better at looking at what’s around you.
“I think the biggest problem is speed.
“If you’re in a car waiting at a junction and you see a bike approaching, let it pass.
“Some bikers do stick to the speed limits and others don’t but you can never be sure.
“And if you get on your bike after not riding it all winter, take time to familiarise yourself with it. It’s so easy to twist the throttle too far.”
Motorcycle, scooter and moped crashes make up 25 per cent of all road fatalities in the past five years.
The worst year on record since 2000 was 2007, when 23 bikers died.
Ben Loryman, consultant in emergency medicine at Lincoln County Hospital, said: “Even with a helmet and body armour its injuries to heads, spines, chests, tummies and the pelvis that motorcyclists can experience in accidents – these are things that kill people.”
Peter McDowell, 63, who runs bike shop AE Wildman & Son, in Spilsby, said poor maintenance, speeding and overconfidence can lead to tragedy.
He said: “Come off a bike at about 70mph and you have a chance, above that there’s no chance.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people want to be doing three figures, and there’s bikers who are happy doing 50mph when car drivers pull out in front of them at junctions because they don’t look.”
Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership spokesman John Siddle said: “Leathers and helmets will only protect you from some of the falls and tumbles that people have on bikes.
“But when you come across hard objects like oncoming vehicles, lamp posts, road signs and trees, helmets and leather won’t do a great deal of good.
“Due to the unusually high number of collisions involving motorcyclists in 2015, this year we are putting more focus on Operation Octane.
“It’s mainly enforcement, but we are encouraging bikers to improve their skills through Bikesafe and Performance Plus.
“Our work is directed at all road users.
“We are not saying bikers are bad, we want everyone else to look out for them.
“Sometimes bikers are hard to spot in your mirrors or at junctions – look once, look twice, think bike.”
Mr Siddle added that in recent years several roadside chevron metal signs have been replaced with plastic signs on some routes, including the A631 near Market Rasen and on the Corby Glen road, which are designed to break on impact, and metal poles wrapped in padding.
Grantham man Mr Cook’s best friend Ryan Kinning said: “I’ve lost two friends in three weeks.
“I’ve known Powys since we were three years old.
“Our families are close, we go on holiday together, I call his parents Mum and Dad like he did with mine – he was like a brother to me.”
Mr Kinning had met up with Mr Cook on the morning of the tragedy, even having a photo together in their biking leathers fifteen minutes before the crash.
The friends then headed to Bourne on their motorbikes and back to Grantham to attend Mr Weston’s funeral.
Mr Kinning had been travelling ahead of his friend at the time and described the aftermath.
He said: “I did not catch what happened and I thought it was odd he had not tried to contact me. I waited five minutes then I saw a police car.
“When I asked the police officer what was happening, the officer’s face painted the picture for me.
“I’ve known Powys for 19 years.
“He was the person I got up to mischief with and party with at weekend.
“We would often wake up on a Sunday morning in the same bed, fully clothed, talking about the night before.
“No one ever had a bad word to say. He was so loyal.”
As well as having a passion for bikes, Mr Cook, who worked for Western Power Distribution, was a keen horse rider, who had competed in college competitions. There will be a Powys Cook trophy at the Belton Horse Trials.
Mr Kinning said: “It is really weird without him. I keep expecting him to walk through the door or phone me at any time trying to get me to go out.”
Mr Kinning from South Witham near Grantham has also paid tribute to friend James Weston who had known for around two years.
He said: “He was another fun guy who liked to party and was very well known.
“I used to call him Joey Essex because of the way he looked.
“He was loved by so many. A fundraiser held at Oscar’s wine bar raised £6,000 to help his children – he was very popular.”
Police are still appealing for more witnesses following the latest crash.
Sgt Ewan Gell, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “I’d like to speak to anyone who was travelling along the B1176 Corby Road and saw either vehicles, the white and blue motorbike or the white lorry to please get in touch.
“This is a tragic loss of life and anyone with information who can help us put together the circumstances of the collision is asked to contact us.”
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