Headlines | 29 August 2016 11:16 CET

Virgin Atlantic boss survives bike crash

By The Citizen

Sir Richard Branson has said he thought he was 'going to die' after crashing his bike on Caribbean Island Virgin Gorda.

The businessman said he was, 'extremely fortunate' only to have suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments.

Sir Richard said he was cycling down a hill when he hit a speed bump, and, 'the next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes.'

His bicycle, 'went flying off the cliff and disappeared', he said.

In a post on the Virgin website, the 66-year-old said: '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.

'I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.

'We've since recovered the crumpled bicycle, completely destroyed. My cheek has been badly damaged and my knee, chin, shoulder and body severely cut.'

Sir Richard said his assistant, Helen, was first on the scene as he was 'lying prostrate on the road' and then another member of his team, George, 'sprinted from the bottom of the hill' to assist.

The accident happened on the fifth anniversary of a fire, which destroyed his luxury home on Necker Island.

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