Accident won’t stop Marine’s love for motorcycling

28 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

Cpl. Angie Dauphinee got on her motorcycle, ready for a relaxing ride on a cool North Carolina night. She had no idea the night would end with her wondering if she would ever walk again.

Dauphinee, a unit diary clerk with Company I, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, was involved in a motorcycle accident when she was just 20 years old. Now more than two years later she is back mounting up and donning her helmet as she tries to face her fears from her motorcycle accident.

Dauphinee was riding along North Carolina’s Highway 30 when a black dog ran across the street and collided with her.

Dauphinee found out later that she had flown, slid and tumbled more than 318 feet.

“I had broken my tibia and fibula, and the bone was sticking out at a 90 degree angle,” added Dauphinee.

Her husband, James Dauphinee, who had been riding in front of her remembers looking in his side-view mirror and seeing a red light fly about 10 feet in the air.

“When I saw it was her, I was shocked,” said James. “I was scared for her I didn’t know the damage until I saw her leg dangling at a weird angle.”

Dauphinee was life lined to a hospital where she spent two weeks receiving extensive reconstructive surgery, bone grafts and scrub downs.

In spite of the traumatic events that put her in a wheelchair for three months, Dauphinee has never stopped pursuing her love of motorcycles.

“Just because someone wrecks a car it doesn’t mean they won’t ever drive again,” said Dauphinee. “It’s the same for me and motorcycles, an accident won’t keep me from riding.”

Although doctors predicted she would never walk again, Dauphinee hopped on the back of her husband’s motorcycle just three months after that fateful night.

“She still had the bandages on her leg when she got back on the bike,” said James. “We would go out maybe once a month and built up her confidence.”

Dauphinee has been refining her motorcycle skills in anticipation of the ultimate confidence booster, the Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap, N.C. The dragon’s tail is a famous road known to motorcyclists for its 318 curves over an 11-mile stretch of road.

Dauphinee said that due to her accident she is a lot safer and has a greater respect for motorcycles. Even though her love of motorcycles left her with physical scars nothing will ever keep her away from them.