A Cheshire motorbiker narrowly escaped with his life after avoiding a head-on collision and plunging 40 feet off a cliff on Britain’s most dangerous road.
Jack Sanderson, 21, miraculously survived the horrific accident when his 600cc Kawasaki Ninja slewed out of control and veered off the road.
A Go-Pro camera fitted to his helmet captured the dramatic moment at a notorious stretch of the Cat and Fiddle road in the Derbyshire Peak District as Jack was thrown off his machine and repeatedly somersaulted down the cliff.
Anyone watching the film would fear the worst but after the tumble, the amazing footage showed Jack getting to his feet, dusting himself down and clambering back up the hill to greet concerned onlookers who had stopped to help.
Incredibly he cheated death with just mild concussion and a cut hand – caused when he grabbed some barbed wire as he walked to safety. The motorbike which stopped at the top of the ridge was written off and is being sold off for parts.
Now Jack’s brush with death has become an internet sensation after he posted the 60 mph near-miss on You Tube which gathered more than 65,000 views.
Jack, an engineer from Knutsford, said: “I can’t believe I walked out of that, not even with a broken bone.
“When I went over the ridge I was like helicopter spinning. I thought, this is it. I’m a goner.
“My bike stayed at the top of the ridge and I continued down. If my bike had followed me and crushed me, I would not be standing here today.”
Jack was enjoying a Saturday ride when he took a corner too wide and careered into the path of an oncoming Honda car.
“I was going round the corner and I was going wider and wider and wider,” he said.
“When I saw the first bit of the car I knew I was in trouble. I chose to go off the cliff, rather than hit the car – it was the best thing I could do. I thought that was me dead.
“I opened my eyes at the bottom of the hill and everything was black and white.
“It was either hit them and possibly kill them or swerve off the ridge possibly killing myself. It is amazing how much time you actually have in those situations, or how slow time goes by.”
The couple in the silver Honda pulled over at the side of the ridge to check on Jack only to be left stunned when he clambered up the cliff and said: “I’m ok.”
“They were so gobsmacked to see me standing there, they could not believe it. By the time they had got back to where it happened I popped back over the ridge,” Jack added.
“They were obviously very worried indeed. I did apologise to them as that must have been a dreadful ordeal for them. I suppose I felt somewhat invincible because I didn’t even have a broken bone and I walked away.”
Jack went to hospital the day after the incident last month and apart from some mild concussion and a cut on his hand from some barbed wire he was unhurt and sent home the next day.
MIRACLE: Josh walks away from the crash
Jack hopes others will learn from his mistake.
“I put it on YouTube as a kind of deterrent to others not to be as stupid as I was. I always have a camera on my head, it’s just for fun normally – but also there if anything more serious happens like this.
“For some reason I always go wide on that corner and I did it again and it nearly cost me my life. The Cat and Fiddle Road is one of the most dangerous roads in the country, mainly for bikers.”
“It’s worth putting the video up on You Tube – even with the negative comments, if it stops others making the same mistake as me.
“It’s amazing how many people have seen the video. I put it on there as a warning to others as much as anything. I’m a good rider and we often think we are better than we are. If you are going to be stupid things like this will happen.”
The A537 Cat and Fiddle Road between Macclesfield, Cheshire, and Buxton, Derbyshire, known locally as The Cat and Fiddle, has been repeatedly branded Britain’s most dangerous road due its severe bends and steep drops.
DANGER: Cat and Fiddle Road one of the most dangerous in the UK
The Road Safety Foundation charity report compared accident rates with the amount of traffic using the road and also found many of the crashes involved motorcyclists.
The reports began in 2002 and since then the A537 has been top in eight out of 12 reports. There were 44 serious or fatal crashes on the seven-mile (12km) stretch of road between 2007 and 2011. Between 2002 and 2006, there were 35.
Road safety experts have said the route’s ‘grim reputation’ is also part of the problem with bikers and motorists seeing it as a ‘challenge’.
Motorcycle friendly crash barriers have also been installed on one of the worst affected parts of the route.
But Buxton mechanic Gary Ward, who recovers many of the vehicles after accidents on the road, said: “Many of the crashes involve motorcyclists going too fast.
“They often end up going down grass banking or hitting a wall – sometimes people do get away with scratches and bruises but most the time they are seriously injured.
“If they are going over 50mph it can be pretty bad for a biker.”
Images and pictures courtesy of Jack Sanderson, via Youtube, with thanks