Miraculous survival of biker whose life was changed in an instant
A SOLIHULL businessman left severely brain damaged in a horrific crash in Germany is backing a campaign to reduce bike deaths.
Shane Booth, from Shirley, was left fighting for his life after a tractor pulled into the path of his motorbike in August 2009.
Shane, who was a director at IBM, suffered severe brain trauma, several fractures and serious internal injuries after the crash near the town of Baden- Baden. He was in a coma for several weeks.
Following the accident Shane secured a £ 6 million payout to help fund care for the rest of his life.
The 44- year- old had to learn to walk again, and had to be hoisted out of bed into a wheelchair. He had to give up his career at IBM and had to rely on others to care for him.
“In a way I’m lucky that I don’t remember much about the crash,” says Shane. “But in a split second, it changed my life.
“A police officer who attended the scene said that my accident was the worst he’d seen, where someone had received so many lifethreatening injuries and actually survived.
“Coming to terms with how my life had changed was difficult. I’d gone from being really active, enjoying my job, sport and travelling, to being almost bed- bound and having to be hoisted out of bed.
“I was totally wheelchairreliant when I went out.
“But then I thought ‘ I’m not putting my life on hold’. I was determined to try and overcome my injuries.”
Shane was on holiday in Germany with friends when his bike was hit by a tractor while travelling along the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse.
Investigations showed the tractor driver had been attempting to turn left across the path of the bike at the time of the smash. The driver was later convicted of causing bodily harm by negligence.
Shane, previously a keen sportsman, had to have intensive rehabilitation to improve his speech and learn how to walk again.
“The support I have had from my wife Yvette, as well as medical and legal professionals, has been absolutely amazing,” he says. “I owe so much to them. I feel fortunate to be where I am today.
“But this should never have happened to me and I am only where I am because of tremendous grit and determination to succeed, which has always been part of my personality.
“It is vitally important that drivers pay attention on the roads and help reduce the number of motorcyclists injured or killed.”
Now a motivational speaker, Shane is urging drivers to think ‘ Bike Smart’ when they are behind the wheel as part of Road Safety Week.
The Department of Transport recorded 18,477 cyclist casualties and 19,297 motorcyclist casualties in 2016.
Lesley Edwards, the lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who secured Shane his settlement, said: “Shane suffered truly devastating injuries in the collision. To have survived the initial crash and make the recovery he has is truly remarkable.
“I am immensely proud that he has managed to make the recovery he has and privileged to have been instructed to act for him in pursuing his case.
“Shane came to the office recently to give a motivational talk and he is truly inspiring and impressive as a speaker. I wish him every success with his business ‘ The Man That Speaks’ and hope that the firm can support his ventures in the future.”
Shane Booth today and, inset, in hospital fighting for his life