Woman who survived I-35W motorcycle crash implores other bikers to gear up

A motorcyclist shared her story of survival to encourage other bikers to take precautions on the road.

There are plenty of good riding days left this summer and she hopes bikers are doing all they can to stay safe on the roads.

In Geri Katte’s case, gearing up made all the difference.

“This is my helmet,” Katte said. “This is the helmet that saved my life.”

Each nick and scuff is a sign of what could have been.

“I don’t see my skull taking a scuff like that,” she said. “I see my skull cracking…badly.

On June 22, Katte was riding her motorcycle on I-35W in Bloomington.

“All of the sudden, from my left, here it comes and I tried to get out of the way and I couldn’t get out of the way in time,” she said.

The crash sent Katte rolling across the highway in front of oncoming traffic. She says the video is still hard to watch.

“I shouldn’t even be here because you don’t roll like that and get up,” said Katte.  

Good Samaritans and first responders rushed to her side, but she suffered a broken wrist, arm, shoulder socket and more.

Her doctor told her, without the gear, the injuries could have been much worse, including that her leather jacket is responsible for keeping her right arm intact.

“The jacket kept my arm together," Katte said. 

According to the Department of Public Safety, in the first 75 days of Minnesota’s 100 deadliest days on the road, 31 motorcyclists died. 22 of them weren't wearing a helmet.

“Sometimes, even wearing your helmet, other injuries happen, even your riding equipment is no guarantee, but it’s the best guarantee, you’ve got,” Katte said.

Friday night, Katte lost a former co-worker to a deadly motorcycle crash on I-694.

She hopes her a message to gear up reaches other riders.

“Unfortunately, he did not wear his helmet and he did not survive. So he’s not going home. I got to come home. And I’m staying home. And any time I ride. I’m coming home,” she said.

Katte is still on the road to recovery with an upcoming surgery and physical therapy, but she says she's working hard to regain her movement and eventually get back on the bike.