When Staff Sgt. Kevin Barton was hit by an inattentive driver on his prized custom 2004 Harley Davidson Sporster 1200, he was initially more worried about his bike than himself.
As the shock died down, he later discovered that the collision had severed his left leg below the knee. That wasn’t the only problem after the crash. Massive blood loss caused him to lose consciousness on an emergency helicopter. It turned out that he had technically died mid-flight, and the valiant efforts of the emergency crew on-board brought him back to life.
Barton would not find out that his leg had been lost until almost a week later.
A resilient service member, Barton worked through years of surgeries and rehabilitation programs before completing six months of training at Mississippi’s Keesler Air Force Base. He currently serves in the 165th Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center and works at the Townsend Bombing Range in Townsend, Ga.
He’s also gotten back in the saddle.
He rides a 2006 Buell Firebolt XB 12R, and still enjoys the feel of the wind and the road. While he made sure he was doing his part to be a responsible and safe motorcyclist before the accident — and continues to do so — he realized you can never completely eliminate risk on a motorcycle, you can just do your best to reduce it.
Regardless, Barton lives and loves to ride.
“I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon,” he said.
To read the story this blog post was based on, visit “PEDAL TO THE METAL – Airman still rides motorcycle after losing leg in crash” at the Torch.