FORT KNOX, Ky. — Erika Jaskolski will likely never forget the first weekend in May 2020.After enjoying a joy ride on their motorcycles, the Fort Knox director of the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and her husband were traveling back home through nearby Brandenburg when his motorcycle wouldn’t start. Suspecting the battery, Jaskolski decided to take it to a nearby auto parts store to have it tested. Her husband stayed behind with his motorcycle.Jaskolski said about two miles away from her husband and 1.4 miles to her destination, she rolled up and stopped at a red light behind a vehicle as a pickup rolled up beside her in the left-turn lane. All three waited for the light to turn green. She never saw the light change.“An individual, who was a distracted driver, came from behind me going 55 mph and hit myself and the truck who was in the turn lane,” said Jaskolski recently. “If you can imagine, they never applied their brakes when they hit me, and I was standing still.“I walked away from the hospital that same night.”An experienced rider for 11 years, Jaskolski said she never saw the car coming at her from behind. Instead, she was focused on the light.“I actually cannot recall the accident even now,” said Jaskolski. “I was knocked unconscious.”Jaskolski ended up on the road, in a lot of pain, next to her bike. She said several factors weighed in her favor that considered to have saved her life.One of the factors was the bulky weight of her big touring bike with a wind guard that was able to absorb at least some of the impact and keep her from being thrown forward. The second was having a vehicle in front of her that kept her from being catapulted into the intersection. The third was that the driver’s car, according to what she understood, either hit the pickup at the same time it hit her, or maybe even a fraction of a second prior.Jaskolski is quick to point out, however, what she considered to be one of the most important life-saving measure.“I wear a full-face helmet, long pants, gloves and boots above my ankles,” said Jaskolski. “Because of them, I left with only four broken ribs and a broken leg at the ankle. Due to the incident, though, and the speed of the vehicle, it all could have been a lot worse.”These days, she assists the Fort Knox Safety Office in speaking at motorcycle safety courses and wherever they need somebody to emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet and the protective equipment at all times.“I’m more than happy to talk to anybody that wants to know my story,” said Jaskolski. “I have pictures from the accident and some of the parts of my bike— pieces of metal that were sheared off in the accident.”Joe Colson, Fort Knox Safety officer, emphasized the importance of wearing the right helmet at all times.“Choose your helmets carefully. Don’t go out and choose a $50 helmet because it looks good. Then wear it when you ride,” said Colson. “Erika did that. Having that full-face helmet on saved her life.”Shortly after the accident, Jaskolski wasted little time getting back onto her new bike and riding. She also shares her story to whomever will listen.“The fact that I walked away the same day was a miracle, honestly,” she said. “I just hope that if I reach at least one person, it could save their life.”