Metro bus hits pedestrian, who heads off for coffee; driver arrested

A 32-year-old man who managed to get up and walk to a nearby Starbucks for a cup of coffee after being struck by a bus on Tuesday morning is recovering from his injuries at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.

The victim was attempting to cross Third Avenue around 7:15 a.m. when he was struck by King County Metro’s Route 358 bus, shattering the bus windshield. The victim then managed to get up and walk with a bloodied head to the nearby Starbucks store at Westlake Center to order a cup of drip coffee. But he didn’t get to enjoy the brew, and instead was taken by paramedics to Harborview Medical Center, where he is recovering from his injuries.

A police officer trained to evaluate whether drivers are impaired checked the bus driver at the scene and determined he was showing signs of impairment, police said. The bus driver was taken into custody by police and also taken to Harborview, where his blood was drawn to determine whether he was impaired, police said. He was later released.

Metro also performed a post-accident blood draw, and “based on our testing, the alcohol portion, there was no alcohol involved,” transit spokeswoman Rochelle Ogershok said. The analysis for drugs could take a couple of weeks, she said.

Metro rules forbid use of alcohol within four hours of starting a shift, or working under the influence, she said. She says Metro has a lower blood-alcohol threshold for a violation than state law: 0.02 percent compared with 0.08 percent.

The man struck by the bus is a resident at Canaday House, an affordable-housing facility run by the Downtown Emergency Service Center. An official at Canaday House declined to comment about Gray, other than to confirm he was a resident.

After the accident, a Starbucks employee called 911 and police and paramedics followed the victim into the Westlake Center store, about a block from the accident scene.

While all this was going on, customers were ushered out of the store. For about 20 minutes no coffee was being served inside, but walk-up service continued outside, Farrell noted.

If you are injured by a public transportation vehicle, you are entitled to recover for your injuries similar to how you would be if injured by a driver of a private vehicle. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help you ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

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