CLOSE CALL: Chris Bahnisch reflects on when he was hit by a car while riding his motorbike.
CLOSE CALL: Chris Bahnisch reflects on when he was hit by a car while riding his motorbike. Kelsie Iorio

At every intersection Chris remembers the day he nearly died

LAZING on the couch will never be the same for Emerald born Chris Bahnisch after he was flung from his motorbike by a driver who ran a red light.

At 20 years old Chris was close to death with a 135 millimetre laceration to his liver, cuts on his right kidney and adrenal gland, and a fracture to his spine.

After the incident the next few hours were spent saving his life with surgeons cutting from his sternum to his pelvis to discover the full extent of his injuries.

"A surgeon later told me he spent a significant period of time with both hands in my abdomen, holding the severed sections of my liver back together,” Chris said.

Chris was put in an induced coma for four days, but waking up was just the start of his recovery.

He spent several days in intensive care and weeks in hospital.

After he was released he was returned in a matter of days with a collapsed intestine.

Chris said the memory of these events will always be in his conscience reminding him make every minute count.

His physical injuries are just tip of the iceberg.

The repercussions of the driver's choice to run a red light impact him every day.

"It doesn't affect my day-to-day but it does inform how I look at things and how I perceive the world around me and that's not a thing that will change,” Chris said.

"It's something I get to carry around with me now.”

Three years on, Chris also sees the way people drive in a new light.

"It's really strange seeing how people treat cars because I think we are so unaware that what you're driving a 1.5 tonne death machine moving 100 kilometres an hour,” he said.

"A brief moment of inattention can cost someone a great deal.”

The driver who hit Chris was sentenced to 15 months prison wholly suspended last month, but Chris said she could have easily been in court for his death.

The court described the accident as a reminder for everyone to be careful when driving, but Chris said the way people considered accidents was problematic.

"It's only an absolute miracle that I get to talk on the phone. There are not many things that would have to change for that not to be the case,” he said.

"It's easy to say ten seconds of your time can you put you in an uncomfortable situation, but it's only sheer dumb luck that this person has only been badly hurt rather than this person is dead.

"If you're not paying attention for ten seconds on the road than I don't think that's an accident, that's a choice.”

Chris still rides a motorbike but he rides differently now.

When he passes through an intersection, being knocked off his bike is always in the back of his mind and he sees every car as a potential danger.

He urged people to watch out for bikes, not because hitting a rider could land you in court, but because it could take away their life.



Man 'speeding' after funeral cleared of unfair fine

premium_icon Man 'speeding' after funeral cleared of unfair fine

'The law is of no assistance to you (in this case)'

'I just want to know what happened to my dogs'

premium_icon 'I just want to know what happened to my dogs'

In a matter of hours, both his dogs were dead