DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas motorcyclist is in good spirits despite being rear ended by a car on the Dallas North Tollway last month.
ZachPerez, 25, says he’s ‘pretty fortunate’ after he was hit from behind by a car heading home for work March 17 on the tollway near Belt Line Road & Arapaho. As traffic slowed, Perez applied his brakes. The car behind him didn’t, and it slammed into the bike, launching Perez onto the pavement. At the same time, his motorcycle was crushed between two cars.
“I remember landing. I pushed myself back to the left lane because I landed in the center,” he said. “I tried to get up, but there was too much pain. I couldn’t get up.”
The Iraq War veteran was helpless while sprawled out on the Dallas North Tollway, but he somehow avoided being hit again. Perez said the driver had no driver’s license or insurance and despite receiving three tickets, he wasn’t arrested.
Video released from the North Texas Tollway Authority shows the accident.
“I survived Iraq and I come back home and almost die on the Tollway,” he said. “I think it should be the other way around.”
Perez was wearing his helmet, but he broke a rib and four vertebrae. He tore muscles and suffered a hernia. Doctors also removed his spleen.
He is still recovering, and his motorcycle was totaled. He says it’s unlikely he’ll be riding another one any time soon. When he asked his fiance about it, she told him “That’s not going to happen anymore.”
The Army Veteran’s near-death experience happened just one day before he proposed to his fiance, Jana Solsbery.
“That’s what made me cry,” Solsbery said. “Watching him just lay there, helpless in pain is what broke my heart.”
But again, she reiterated her so-called “first-duty as fiance.”
“He’s not getting another bike,” the bride-to-be said.