All of this could have been avoided’
Life for Jason Minors changed for ever in May 2006.
Mr Minors was a runner and recognised by people for his athleticism.
He said: “That’s all I would do. Every day I would run from my house to town and back.”
He was heading home from a Sunday church service when he crashed his motorcycle near Francis Patton Primary School in Hamilton Parish and his running days were over. He was just 23 years old at the time.
Mr Minors said: “I stopped at my gate and I had my indicator on. I had the handlebars turned and all I had to do was just turn in my gate.”
He glanced in his mirror and saw two men on motorcycles overtake him. He explained that “curiosity called” him to see if he could catch up with the other bikes.
“I don’t know what made me decide to go when all I had to do was just turn in the gate,” Mr Minors said. “All of this would have been avoided.”
He said he had no idea how fast he was going as he began passing cars on the outside.
Mr Minors said: “I remember vividly that I overtook more than five cars.”
He was catapulted off his bike after he swerved to avoid an oncoming van and slammed into a kerb.
Mr Minors said he closed his eyes before the impact.
He added: “I flew in the air with my eyes closed. I remember a loud bang and that was my back hitting the railing.”
The crash happened just minutes from his house.
Mr Minors said his mother later told him that she had run down to the crash site after learning he had been involved.
He added: “She said she held me in her arms and was yelling my name. She said I would pop my eyes open and then close them.”
Mr Minors was unconscious for a couple of days after the crash.
Family, friends and members of his congregation came to visit and offer support after he awoke in hospital.
Mr Minors said: “That’s the most I’ve ever cried in my life. Every time someone came in they would say something and tears would just come.”
He added the grim reality of his condition did not have to be explained.
“As soon as I hit the ground and I couldn’t feel my legs, I said to myself I’m paralysed. The doctors didn’t have to say anything to me.”
The realisation felt like the “end of the world and like my life was over”.
Mr Minors explained: “Knowing that I can’t take care of myself, knowing that I could be a burden on my family and for everyone that I care about and that I’m around.
“At 23, you’re not really thinking you’re going to be paralysed.”
Six rods were inserted into his spine by specialists at Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts.
He said a dark period of depression followed his transfer to Boston’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Mr Minors added: “You go to sleep, you wake up, and it just comes on you.
“The only thing I could think of to get rid of it or to find a way out was just taking my life.
“I remember being up there. They had a balcony. Sometimes I would go out on the balcony and I would grip onto the rail as if I was about to pull myself over. That played on my mind a lot.”
He said things changed suddenly one morning.
Mr Minors said: “I remember waking up and just smiling. All of it just went away. It was a weird feeling.
“I really can’t explain it. I just say it’s God. God intervened because he knew the path I was going on, he knew that the only way out was to take my life. I guess he said you got something more to live for.”
He said the crash had acted as a make-or-break moment.
Mr Minors added: “I said I’m going to let it make me and I’m going to make something good and positive out of my situation.”
An idea from a church friend led to Mr Minors writing his first book. He has also spoken to pupils at a number of island schools.
He added: “I honestly can say this is way better than the life I had before.”
Mr Minors said he decided to share his story as part of the Drive for Change campaign to encourage responsible behaviour on the roads.
He added: “You have a life and you have family. Every day when you go through those doors, your family wants to see you come back.
“Love your life, but also realise that you have family that wants to see you every day.
“You never know what’s around that corner. All it takes is one corner.”
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