Everything We Know About George Clooney's Harrowing Motorcycle Accident

George Clooney is no stranger to terrifying physical trauma. The actor seriously injured his spine while filming a stunt scene for the 2005 film Syriana, and, despite the many accolades that he earned for his performance in the picture, he was left in so much pain and misery that he even considered ending his life as a result of that injury.

When news broke that the actor had been hospitalized as a result of a motorcycle accident in Italy, it was understandable why some might fear for the 57-year-old husband and father's well-being. Once a shocking video of the incident in question reached the public, there was even more reason to worry.

Let's investigate the details surrounding this harrowing incident and learn more Clooney's close call and his road to recovery. Here's everything we know so far about George Clooney's harrowing motorcycle accident.

He was on his way to work

Clooney's accident occurred July 10, 2018 in the town of Olbia, on the Italian island of Sardinia. Clooney shares a home with his wife, Amal Clooney (nee Alamuddin), and their twins Alexander and Ella Clooney, were reportedly staying in a villa in San Teodoro in Sardinia while he filmed on location, and Clooney was on his way to work on at the time of his crash. 

Clooney has been on location to film Hulu's mini-series adaptation of Catch-22, the classic 1961 novel by Joseph Heller that offers a satirical view of World War II through the eyes of several soldiers. Clooney stars in the series as Scheisskopf, an officer who is quickly promoted through several ranks due to his near-comical obsession with parades. (Clooney was originally expected to appear in a different role but later switched parts with incoming co-star Kyle Chandler.) Clooney also shares directing and producing duties with long-time collaborator Grant Heslov for the six-part series. According to Page Six, production on Catch-22 "is continuing as planned," despite Clooney's scary incident.

A close call

It was after 8:15 a.m. local time in Italy, George Clooney and his moter scooter were reportedly clipped by the front bumper of a blue Mercedes station wagon that was apparently crossing lanes of oncoming traffic to make a turn, reported the BBC. Video footage from the moment of impact revealed a jarring sight: Clooney, who was wearing his a helmet, was thrown from his bike as a result of the collision and landed on the ground several yards away. 

The actor was soon attended to by the other driver and passersby and then transported by ambulance to the local hospital. Despite how serious the impact may have looked on camera footage, Clooney's injuries reportedly only included some minor trauma to the pelvis and bruising of the knee and arm. He was also reportedly given imaging scan(s), which revealed no abnormalities or bone breaks. Upon release from the hospital, Clooney's reps issued a statement to confirm the actor "is recovering at home and will be fine."

Was Clooney going too fast?

TMZ reported that George Clooney was traveling about 60 miles per hour at the time of the crash and was thrown approximately 20 feet after the impact, shattering his helmet on the Mercedes' windshield. CNN issued even higher estimates, based on communications with local police, indicating that the actor may have been travelling as fast as 65 miles per hour and may have been thrown 30 feet after impact. 

Regardless, a local police spokesperson told the BBC that the driver of the Mercedes "did not respect the right of way and hit [Clooney,]" who "fell and slammed the winshield of the Mercedes. The car driver called the 112, the emergency number of Carabinieri, and they sent the Municipal Police, an ambulance and the Fire Dept." 

In other words, Clooney may have been pressing his luck with that kind of speed, but the incident does not appear to have been his fault.

Lucky to be alive

After being released from the hospital with relatively minor injuries, George Clooney was reportedly counting his blessings. According to CNN, he told a friend, "[It's] good to be alive." The actor also allegedly said that he believed the other drive cut him off, causing the accident.

Clooney has been candid in the past about his struggle with suicidal ideations as a result of injuries sustained on the Syriana set. He told Rolling Stone that his pain was so severe, he felt the need "to do something drastic about this" and contemplated specific methods of self harm before eventually turning to alcohol for pain relief from the resulting headaches, which still plague him, despite corrective surgery. Fortunately, it does not appear that this newest incident will cause this acclaimed actor quite so much misery. We're relieved to hear that he should pull through nicely.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).