(Photo courtesy Kyle Kautz)
26-year-old Dave Collins is lucky to be alive after being dragged 25 under a van driven by a man who made a dangerous — and illegal — left turn and collided with him on Monday.
After speaking with a police officer at the scene of the collision, we initially reported that Collins’ injuries were minor. The officer made it seem like it was a miraculous situation and he told me he had chatted with Dave and joked with him. But yesterday I saw a photo of Collins tweeted by his employer, PDX Pedicab, and realized he was far from “fine”. The photo shows Collins laying on a hospital bed, completely bandaged up.
The photo was taken by the owner of PDX Pedicab, Kyle Kautz. He put me in touch with Dave yesterday.
Dave moved to Portland from Boston about one and a half years ago. He told me he was on his way to the bank on Monday, headed east on Fremont when he “got t-boned when a guy abruptly took a left.” “By the time it was time to brake I couldn’t maneuver out of the way. Then I was under the van.”
He then talked about how he was dragged by the van another 20-30 feet before it stopped. “It was like an eternity,” he recalled. “They had to use a jack to pull me out.”
to raise the van off of Collins.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Dave still can’t figure out why it took so long for the man to stop. “Maybe he didn’t realize what happened. I have no idea.”
Now Dave is still waiting news on just how doctors will put his skin back together. He has major road rash on his back, stomach, hips, wrist, and even his cheek. And he also has two broken ribs. His girlfriend Julia shared with me that the doctors are considering skin grafts. Luckily, Dave says the van driver has insurance, so “hopefully this is all covered.”
Dave’s boss, Kyle, says he’s going to hold a benefit party to help with hospital bills and rehab expenses. Dave doesn’t have his own, personal health insurance. A party is in the works at the Lost and Found Bar in North Portland. Kyle also says he’ll donate all proceeds from the sales of Beer Tours during next week’s Brewfest to the fund.
Looking back, Dave realizes how much worse this could have been. “I’m very lucky for sure… it could have been worse, but it was still not great.” He also says he plans to buy a helmet and that, “Cyclists and drivers need to be more aware… it all happened in about 10 seconds.”
Stay tuned to @bikeportland on Twitter or watch for an update on this post when we get details on the upcoming fundraiser.