Richard Branson reveals he thought he was going to die after accident while cycling on Caribbean island

Caitlin Morrison
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Branson is back in business after the traumatic accident (Source: Getty)

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said his life flashed before his eyes when he was in a bike accident while cycling with family on the Caribbean island of Virgin Gorda.

The entrepreneur - whose own private island, Necker, lies just north of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands - recounted his harrowing experience in a blog post.

Branson said he was cycling with his children, Holly and Sam "when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a ‘sleeping policeman’ hump in the road head on".

"The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes," he continued.

Branson hit a bump in the road before being flung over the handlebars (Source:

Branson added: "I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.

"My bike went flying off the cliff and disappeared. We’ve since recovered the crumpled bicycle, completely destroyed. My cheek has been badly damaged and my knee, chin, shoulder and body severely cut."

The businessman, who was training for the Virgin Strive Challenge when the accident took place, noted that bike helmets that protect the side of the face as well as the head could be useful.

Branson travelled to Miami for scans and X-rays, and said he was "extremely fortunate" to suffer a cracked cheek and some torn ligaments - and he still hopes to complete the Strive Challenge next month

Branson said he is on the mend (Source:

"My biggest hardship is having to drink tea out of a straw," he said.

"My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again."

Branson also noted that the date of his cycling accident fell on the fifth anniversary of the fire which destroyed his property on Necker Island - an incident which famously led to reports that Kate Winslet had rescued the tycoon's mother Eve.

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