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.
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.
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!