Last Tuesday night I went on a motorcycle ride with friends from a local motorcycle forum. A new rider joined us, JJ. I spoke with JJ briefly before the ride. He informed me that he had just bought his R6 6 weeks prior. He said he had ridden before, but did not give any other details. I later learned he had recently moved to the US from another country.
As the ride started JJ was following me up Highway 9. We then turned onto Skyline headed toward Alice's Restaurant. At this point I let JJ go past me as I was not familiar with Skyline. He stayed with me for a little while but soon he took off and left me behind.
Several minutes after I lost sight of him I came around a corner and saw a bike parked on the opposite side of the road and a bike laying on its side on the edge of the road. I pulled over and ran over to the site and found a rider off the side of the road. He was unresponsive and had troubled breathing.
Several other motorcycle riders who were not on the ride stopped, as did several motorists. No one had any cell phone service so one rider took off to go to the Cal Fire station to call in the incident.
We stayed with the rider not moving him until Cal Fire arrived. At this point they pulled him up onto the road and took off his helmet to begin CPR as they could only feel a faint pulse. When they took off his helmet I realized that it was JJ. I couldn't tell that it was him up until this point as his bike was mangled from the accident and he was laying face down in the brush.
Life flight was called and additional medics and firefighters arrived on scene.
As we were finishing up giving our information to the CHP, the officer received a call and let us know that JJ didn't make it.
I keep on having terrible thoughts that it was my fault. That if I hadn't let him pass me maybe he wouldn't have crashed. I know this isn't true, but I it doesn't stop the what if's from running through my head.
I just had to give my statement to the CHP about the incident so this has all of the terrible feelings from the accident flowing through my head. I keep on seeing the image of them take his helmet with blood flowing out of his mouth and nose, then the medics beginning CPR.
SE++ how do you deal with death?