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Seattle bicyclist goes for coffee after being hit by public bus

Seattle residents have a reputation for loving their coffee. On January 8, a local 32-year-old may have helped solidify that reputation by making a nearby coffee shop his first stop after being hit by a bus while trying to cross Third Avenue on his bicycle.

According to reports, the bicyclist got up after being struck by a King County Metro bus and walked nearly a block to the coffee shop despite the fact that he was bleeding from the head. The manager of the coffee shop said that the bus accident victim seemed coherent and ordered a drip coffee. Emergency medical responders arrived at the scene before the bicyclist could enjoy his coffee, however, and service inside the coffee shop came to a halt for about 20 minutes while responders stabilized the man for transportation to Harborview Medical Center. Window service continued uninterrupted.

The driver of the public bus was taken into police custody on suspicion of impaired driving. Seattle police and Metro each took blood draws and the bus driver told his union president that he had passed both tests. The results of police blood tests were not immediately available, but a spokesperson for Metro confirmed that the driver had passed at least the alcohol portion of Metro's blood test. Metro did not expect to receive drug test results for another few weeks.

The bicyclist was last reported in satisfactory condition at the hospital and hopefully will not suffer any long-term effects from his injuries. Nonetheless, the potential for serious injuries when a bicyclist or pedestrian is hit by a bus was clearly evident at the accident scene. According to police and fire department reports, the impact of the collision shattered the windshield of the articulated bus.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Metro bus hits pedestrian, who heads off for coffee; driver arrested," Jennifer Sullivan and Mike Lindblom, Jan. 8, 2013

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