Cyclist 'lucky to be alive' after school bus strikes him
Gresham man has been released from the hospital after scary accident Wednesday
A Gresham cyclist is home recovering from being driven over by a school bus full of students early Wednesday, Sept. 27.
Peter K. Grant, 56, of Gresham was riding his mountain bike on Powell Valley Road in front of Gordon Russell Middle School at 8:43 a.m. when the school bus turned into the bike lane he was riding in, according to a police report.
The right side of the bus struck Grant, forcing him to the ground. Then the bus kept moving forward, its front tire running over and pinning Grant's right upper arm.
Grant said he remembers yelling at the top of his lungs for the driver to back up. But the bus didn't budge for what felt like an eternity.
'It was terrifying to be under that bus without it moving,' Grant said.
Paramedics transported him to Oregon Health and Science University. He was released with what doctors call soft tissue damage Thursday, Sept. 28. Grant said he wouldn't know until later the extent of his injuries. He just hopes they don't interfere with his ability to be an assistant tennis coach at Barlow High School, which he's done from 1998 to 2005.
Grant said was riding his red Raleigh M7000 bicycle westbound in the bike lane in front of the school, located in the 3600 block of Southeast Powell Valley Road, when the westbound bus turned right into the school parking lot.
'It basically turned right into me,' Grant said of the bus, adding that he didn't see it until the accident.
When the bus ran over his arm, Grant said he operated out of pure self-preservation.
'I was yelling my head off,' he said. 'I was just fighting for my life. I wanted it off.
'I yelled a lot before he moved,' Grant said of the driver. 'It was terrifying. It was blooming terrifying.'
First Student Transportation bus driver Christopher L. Scudder, 27, told police he didn't see the cyclist because Grant was in his blind spot.
Scudder stopped the bus just before reaching the school's entrance to allow a pedestrian to cross the street. Then he turned right into the school's parking lot. After completing the turn, bystanders yelled at the driver, alerting him that he'd run someone over.
Police cited Scudder for failure to yield to a rider in a bicycle lane. Scudder could not be reached for comment.
When told of the bus driver's statement to police about the cyclist being in his blind spot, Grant said, 'That's not a good enough excuse.' Besides, the bus passed him, so the driver should have known he was on the road, Grant added.
Fire department officials said Grant was lucky to be alive.
'Another 6 inches and it would have killed him instantly,' said Jim Klum, deputy chief of emergency operations for Gresham Fire and Emergency Services.
Grant said his exceptionally large head prevented him from wearing his ill-fitting bike helmet. But after the crash, a neighbor brought over an extra large motorcycle helmet for him. He also hopes to visit the traumatized children on the bus to reassure them that, 'I'm OK, everything's fine.'