Richard Branson credits helmet for saving his life after bike crash

Virgin Group CEO was hurled over his handlebars after hitting a speed bump

Richard Branson credits helmet for saving his life after bike crash

Image: virgin.com

Businessman Richard Branson said he thought he was going to die after being thrown off his bike in an accident on a Caribbean island.

The Virgin Group CEO said he hit a speed bump while cycling with his two children, causing him to fly head-first onto a concrete road. 

He was left with a cracked cheek and some torn ligament after the crash, which happened on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands on Monday.

"I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a ‘sleeping policeman’ hump in the road head on,” the 66-year-old wrote in a blog post. 

"The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes."

Mr Branson credited a helmet for saving his life, saying his shoulder and cheek managed to take the brunt of the impact.

"My bike went flying off the cliff and disappeared," he said. 

"We’ve since recovered the crumpled bicycle, completely destroyed."

The British billionaire travelled to Miami for X-rays and scans but said his “biggest hardship” was having to drink tea out of a straw.

"As I landed, once I realised I was alive, I began testing my movement. I really couldn't believe I was alive, let alone not paralysed," he said.

Mr Branson has been based on the nearby Necker Island for the last decade.

The accident came a day after he released CCTV images appearing to show Jeremy Corbyn walking past empty train seats before the UK Labour leader was filmed complaining about "completely ram-packed" carriages.