Teenager “almost dies” in bike test crash

Published: 19 March 2010

A woman “almost died” after crashing while attempting the new motorcycle test, according to witnesses.

The 18-year-old stopped breathing and was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken neck after crashing at Chester Multi-Purpose Test Centre last Tuesday.

She survived because a driving instructor who happened to be present knew the procedure to get her breathing again, said her father, who arrived minutes after the accident.

He said she now appeared to be making a good recovery.

She had been attempting the “swerve and stop” exercise, in which learners must swerve around cones at over 30mph before coming to a halt in a confined area.

It was her second try after taking the swerve 1kmh too slowly. She crashed locking the front wheel while trying to stop in the space allowed.

Dozens of learners have crashed attempting the swerve and stop, which MCN is calling to be split into two exercises.

The teenager’s father, who did not want to be named, said: “When I got there I was told she had stopped breathing and that the guy who was holding her had got her breathing again.

They talked about her biting her tongue but that can’t stop you breathing so presumably it was a swallowed tongue.

“She was a mess, heavily concussed. There was a lot of thought about her having a broken neck because she’d shattered her helmet when she hit the ground.

“An ambulance came and put her in a neck brace and took her to the Countess of Chester Hospital.

"There was a lot of worry about her at first because she was vomiting a lot. They thought there was some brain injury. But she seems to have recovered well and was discharged from hospital that night.

“The DSA area manager later told me the guy who got her breathing again was only there by chance. There’s no question that he saved her life. They almost had a fatality. It was pure chance they didn’t.”

The DSA has maintained adequately prepared learners should have no problem, but the dad said: “She didn’t go into it without proper training.

"She had the test initially booked last November and her trainer advised her she wasn’t quite ready, so she’s had a lot of instruction.

The Driving Standards Agency refused to give any details, saying only there had been an “incident”.

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