MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minutes after buying protective gear, a Hudson motorcyclist needed it in a major crash on I-94.

A northern Minnesota woman bought a dash camera to try and catch some video of bears. Instead, she caught the crash near Woodbury, which shows the motorcyclist crashing into a foam pad that wasn’t properly secured onto a boat trailer.

The motorcyclist tries to swerve, then crashes. That motorcyclist is 20 year old Brendan Jakowski.

“Pretty sure this stopped me from going unconscious, or possibly dying,” Jakowski said, holding his helmer outside his Hudson home. “EMTs were pretty sure about that.”

And you might be sure too, after seeing the video. Only two weeks into his cycling career, he faced the moment that bikers dread.

“I just saw the thing fall and I knew I had to move,” he said. “I didn’t make it quite far enough and I already knew I was in trouble.”

Jankowski has the scars to prove it on his hands and knee. He says when the foam float flew off the boat trailer in front of him, he had to decide: Going left would mean gravel and going too far right would put him in the path of traffic.

“I started to lean the bike to the side so I could push away from the bike,” he said. “When I hit the ground, I tucked and rolled, that’s why one hand is worse than the other.”

But his arms and torso are just fine, thanks to a purchase he made moments before.

“I didn’t quite have the money to splurge for the pants, so I just got the jacket,” he said. “Lo and behold, I needed it twenty minutes later, which is just funny. It’s just bad luck.”

Some would argue good luck was most prominent on that Saturday afternoon – road rash is his most serious injury. He says after seeing the video, he’d handle it differently and hopes anyone hauling a load would too.

“Make sure it’s secure so it doesn’t come loose and hit someone like me,” he said.

Troopers say the driver of the boat did not stop. It’s not clear if they even noticed what happened.

UPDATE (6/29, 4:48 p.m.): The Department of Public Safety says the driver has turned himself in and is cooperating with authorities.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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