A Conversation with Ernie Lizarraga

Ernie Lizarraga Interview with The Helmet Center


Hey everybody, welcome to our interview. Normally, we do everyday adventures, but today, we have a very special guest with us. It’s Ernie Lizarraga. He says it’s pronounced “lizarga,” but he’s okay with either way. So, everybody, join me in this awesome conversation with Ernie.

Ernie’s Accident

Interviewer: Ernie, for those who don’t know, in 2010, you had a horrific accident on March 25th. You were out riding with a group. Tell us about that day.

Ernie: Well, we all met at a restaurant by the river for lunch around 11:30. We were done eating and decided to ride to Bartlett Lake. We were traveling from New River to Bartlett Lake down the Carefree Highway.

Interviewer: Was this a ride you had taken before?

Ernie: I’d been riding for about 10 years, but not this exact route. I’d been on that road a few times.

The Accident

Interviewer: Tell us about the accident itself.

Ernie: We stopped at a stoplight for about 20 seconds when the girl in front of me, her name was Dayle, turned around and yelled, “Watch out!” That’s all I remember. I woke up in the hospital six weeks later.


Interviewer: What were the consequences of the accident?

Ernie: Well, four people died in the accident. Many others were badly injured. I had 26 bone fractures, lost eyesight in my right eye, severe brain damage, and extensive injuries, including my spine. I spent six weeks in a coma and three months in the hospital.

Advocacy and Recovery

Interviewer: You’ve become an advocate for motorcycle safety. Tell us more about your advocacy work.

Ernie: I’m part of an organization called Abate, which pushes for biker laws and safety. I illustrate portraits of fallen firefighters and work with the Phoenix Fire Department to honor them.

Life After the Accident

Interviewer: Are you still riding?

Ernie: Yes, I’m still riding. I initially had to convert to a trike due to my injuries, and I currently ride a Harley trike.


Interviewer: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the audience?

Ernie: Doctor’s advice: exercise is essential. I believe it contributed to my recovery. Eating right and exercising are vital for everyone’s health.

[Music] Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time!



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