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Richard Branson said he narrowly survived a bicycle crash that could have been deadly. The Virgin Group mogul was cycling around the British Virgin Islands when he crashed his bike and suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments.

Branson says he thought he was “going to die” after “flying head-first” off his bike and onto the concrete road earlier this week. The accident happened to fall on the fifth anniversary of the fire that torched his Necker Island home in the Caribbean.

“The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes. I really thought I was going to die,” he said in a blog post. “Fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.”

Branson had been training for a Virgin-branded fundraising event that is set to last a month.

“My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward,” he said. “All you have to do is get back up and try again. At least I’m practicing what I preach — though a little too literally!”

But Branson lived to tweet the tale.

“5th anniversary of Necker fire, I nearly died falling off my bike. All worked out, I’m lucky ” he tweeted.

Branson also tweeted: “My life flashed before my eyes – fell headfirst over my bike handlebar.”

In good spirits, Branson joked about his newfound tea consumption troubles. “Forget my injuries (cracked cheek, torn ligaments) – I’m having to drink tea out of a straw!” he tweeted.

He also reiterated that he “genuinely thought I was going to die as I fell headfirst & bike disappeared off cliff.”