A motorcyclist pulled from beneath a burning car said Thursday that evading death multiple times reinforced for him the fragility of life and the importance of following his passions, one of which was riding motorcycles.
At the suburban Salt Lake City hospital where he was recovering, Brandon Wright said that while he doesn't have a "death wish," the accident won't dampen his enthusiasm for thrill-seeking. He plans to replace his wrecked motorcycle and buy the "most expensive helmet I can find" after he recovers from his injuries.
"I should've died several times. I should've died when I hit the car. I should've died when I went under the car. I should've died when the car burst into flames," the 21-year-old said. "But I didn't, and that makes life that much more precious ... I'm going to live every day like it's my last, because it very well could be."
Wright's motorcycle burst into flames in the wreck on Monday, as did the BMW that struck him in Logan, a Utah college town roughly 90 miles north of Salt Lake City. A group of about a dozen bystanders lifted the car off of him in a dramatic rescue that was caught on video.
He wasn't wearing a helmet at the time because he said it was a short trip to the campus of Utah State University, where he is a graphic design major. But he normally wears one while riding the bike that he has owned for more than two years.
"I ride that thing 95 percent of that time," Wright said. "I love it. I cried when I saw the mashed bike. It's ridiculous, I know."
Wright said he was aware of the entire accident, from when he started to slide under the BMW to the moment people pulled him to safety. He vividly recalled the color of the shirt worn by a rescuer, who was talking to him during "the scariest moment, when I didn't know if I would live or be paralyzed."
Wright, who hasn't yet spoken to any of his rescuers, said they need to get used to being called heroes.
"That car could have blown up at any time," Wright said. "They're very brave."
Wright has multiple fractures in his right leg and pelvis, burns on his feet and a "pretty gnarly road rash." But he didn't suffer any head injuries, and doctors said he will likely make a full recovery within a few months.
This summer, Wright spent two weeks in Tijuana, Mexico, building homes for people living in poverty. Now, he said, he plans to pursue more humanitarian work because of the perspective he learned from Tijuana and his crash.
Josh Loftin can be reached at http://twitter.com/joshloftin.