Many people in the motorcycle community heard about Tori Drew & Rich Dodds fatal accident. Tori is on her road to recovery and fills us in with what happened, where shes at now and hows she stronger for it.
1) Who are you, where are you from and what's your age
Tori Drew born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ! 26 years young.
2) What was your upbringing like
I wouldn't say I didn't get along with my parents but we just weren't close. I didn't spend a lot of time at home. I was kinda a trouble maker in my teenage years and they weren't a fan of that. I felt like my brother was favored. Ha, I’m sure he wasn’t. Just better behaved. I’m the only one in my family with tattoos and they hate them. I got my first at 14. Which got me kicked out for a few days. But I kept myself together. I got my first job at 13 and been working ever since. I think that made them proud. I became closer with my family only the last couple years.
3) Who was your first hero
Wow. I can’t even think of my first hero. I just want to say Miley Cyrus because <3 !!!
4) How did you get into motorcycles
Definitely the people I was hanging around with. I originally wanted a scooter. I was told no. You want a motorcycle. That was that. I got a Honda cm400 as my first. Didn't last too long before I upgraded to my sportster which I love so much. I think Becky was a big influence too. I didn't really know her but she had just gotten her Suzuki and I was into it.
5) What gets you excited about riding
I just love going on adventures and exploring new roads I've never been on. Seeing new things. Finding bodies of water to swim in or hike around. And nothing better then doing all that on a motorcycle on a sunny day. It just feels so much better then being stuck in a car. I feel like you see and smell way more. Just a whole different experience that is a hell of a lot better. It's also way easier to meet people and make friends. It's a good conversation starter. I've met so many people because of riding. Can't wait to ride again.
6) How did your accident happen
My memory got pretty fucked in the crash but from what I know, Rich got me tickets to the Bronx for my birthday. One of the first bands we bonded over and my favorite band. We were originally going to ride to Santa Barbara with Collin and Nikki but decided we would all just go in Collin's car. That morning we had gotten off the phone with Collin, he was coming to get us. Next thing you know there's an accident and it was Rich and I. Only 15-20 minutes after getting off the phone. I don't know why we were on the motorcycle and neither does Collin. But a guy turned left into us. We were going opposite directions on Sunset Boulevard and he turned left onto Micheltorena Street.
7) How has the motorcycle community supported you
My mind has been blown. I think I was told I was in a coma for a few and then mostly sedated and very drugged for almost 2 and a half weeks. So I didn't have any contact with the world. I had the most amazing crew of friends in LA who were in my ICU room at all times. Their updates were amazing and my boss and good friend McKenzie here at home started a Go Fund Me. When I woke up and saw everything I just couldn't believe the love and support from people I know and all the people I don't know! But they ride too so they supported and my story touched their hearts. They did a fundraiser in LA at The Chun for Rich and I. It just made me cry seeing that. They did one in Portland which again looked amazing. So thoughtful and sweet. My girlfriend Chay made these rad “Ride For Tori” patches and sold them. I think they went to the Dream Roll. The motorcycle community is absolutely amazing. Feels like family for sure. This answer is going to be so big if I keep it going. I just feel like there is endless love from everyone in the motorcycle community sending their love and trying to help.
8) What have you learned and how are you stronger for your experience
I've definitely learned there are so many caring people in my life. I honestly had no idea. I’m definitely going to be a stronger rider. It’s hard because I was only a passenger and I don’t remember the day at all. I will be super cautious I know that. Always going to wear my Bell helmet. Head injuries are no joke. I think just surviving such an awful accident is enough to make me stronger. I’m coming out of this with a new outlook on life trying to be as positive as I can through this awful situation. Without all the love and support I’ve received I think I’d be miserable and things would be different.
9) Can you tell us a specific story or person who really stuck out on your road to recovery
There are way too many people that stick out. Lara is definitely one. She was at the hospital a lot and she came in the air ambulance from LA to Vancouver to make sure I was set up okay. Her, Mak and Bonnie kept everyone in the loop and were so good at updates. Bonnie, Brittany, Katy, Audrey, Chris, Lara, Mackenzie, Erik, Collin, Brandon, Kingston!! My people. They did everything for me. I think one of my favorite stories was when I was sleeping a lot from the meds and pain killers.
"A nurse was trying to wake me up and I just wasn't having it so Mak put Miley Cyrus on and I just smiled so big as soon as I heard and started dancing with my eyes closed. Every time Miley got put on! "
10) How has healing been
Doctors and nurses are pretty surprised at the rate I've been healing. Everything is moving along real quick which is great. A lot of my smaller breaks are already healed. Still won't be walking for 4-6 weeks but I have high hopes it'll be able to sooner! Hasn't been easy not being able to walk. I've always been very independent and now I rely on someone for everything.
11) What injuries did you suffer
Too many. Top to bottom. A bleed in my brain, concussion, broken orbital bones, broken nose, bunch of broken ribs, fractured elbow, bleed in my liver, shattered pelvis, broken femur on my right leg, knee surgery, broken tibia, fibula, and broken ankle!
12) Has this experience shown you that you are stronger than you ever knew
Definitely. I've never broken anything before. Then all that in one go as well as losing Rich. It's been the hardest things I've ever had to experience. But I somehow manage to motivate myself to get out of bed and try and be happy. Gotta be strong. And I feel so much stronger. I'm still here living. I am so grateful for that.
13) What are the hardest things to cope with and how do you get through them
Heartbreak. Being bedridden for most of the day. Being bedridden is hard. My mind races all day. I can be negative or really positive. I spend so much time thinking about Rich. His friends and family have been nothing but amazing and so sweet to me. They've talked me through some shit days. They're all heartbroken. Them being there for me has the best feeling. Just gotta be positive and think about the good times we had. It also helps when I get some friends who load me up in their car and take me out for the day. Being out of the house, bed, and around good energy definitely helps.
14) What do you plan on doing once you fully recover
Get my booty back to LA and give so many hugs. Everyone who was there for me at the hospital, Rich's family who message me daily telling me to heal and come back. That's a trip I'll need to make asap. Not sure when I’ll be back on a bike. I hope sooner than later! First bike trip I’d love to ride to Utah.
15) What are your biggest dreams
To Find my career and make sure it’s not a Monday to Friday 9-5. I want to still be able to take time off and travel. I eventually want to get a shovelhead and attempt to ride that baby to the east coast. Dreaming big.
16) If you could ride anywhere where would you go
I've always wanted to ride to Utah and Arizona. I really want to see the Bonneville Salt Flats and Zion. Lots of stuff I'd love to see in Arizona. A few people too. Also Austin would be rad. I was going to fly to Austin and ride with Malary to New Orleans. But a bike for me was hard to get or too expensive so I bailed on that one. Womp. Still wanna do it though ! One day.
17) Do you have any words of wisdom
Nothing has made me more angry then people telling me “oh betcha you’re not gonna ride again!” or “Your body will hate the rigid bike”. Nope I will definitely ride again. It’s what I love. It makes me feel good. If I’m having a rough day, a ride to mellow out is the perfect way to end the day. My body will hate the rigid? Didn’t know anybody knew how my body would feel!
Don’t listen to people. Do what makes you happy. Figure things out for yourself.