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Lakewood Man Crushed by an RTA Bus in Critical Condition

A nurse on her way to work at Lakewood Hospital may have saved his life. Police are investigating.

A Lakewood man is fighting for his life at MetroHealth Medical Center after he was run over by an RTA bus on Detroit Avenue early Monday morning.

As he lie in a pool of his own blood — and several motorists passed him by — a Lakewood woman stopped to help.

She may have saved his life.

The 46-year-old Lakewood man was struck by the No. 26 bus headed east as he tried to catch it at around 5 a.m.

Heidi Byroads was on her way to work at Lakewood Hospital — where she’s a nurse — when she found him lying on the south side of the street at around 5:15 a.m. 

The man, an employee of Medical Mutual of Ohio, told her that the bus stuck him and that it continued east after it hit him. 

“It looked it dragged him halfway down the street,” Byroads said. “I never, in million years, thought that someone would be hit by a bus and left for dead.” 

After frantically trying to flag down cars for help — she forgot her cell phone at home — someone finally stopped and called 911.

Byroads used her skills as a nurse to ask him vital questions and comfort him, before paramedics and police arrived.

Police and EMS showed up on the scene within moments, along with an RTA supervisor.

Officials at RTA declined to comment, instead directing questions about the incident to Lakewood police.

Capt. Gary Sprague, of the Lakewood Police Department, said officers are investigating the incident, but added that it appears as if the driver was unaware that the man had been run over.

“(The victim) was running late and the bus was pulling away,” said Sprague. “He tried banging on the side entrance, and at some point he tripped and fell down."

The man’s legs were crushed and several bones were broken, with injuries described by one fire department official as “life-threatening.”

“You can imagine the weight of a bus running over someone’s legs,” added Sprague. 

As of 8 p.m. Monday, police still hadn’t been able to locate — to question — the driver, said Sprague.

The man is listed in critical condition at MetroHealth.

Tfacey June 11, 2013 at 06:47 AM
Yikes, how horrible. That poor guy.
Kristen Bindel June 11, 2013 at 07:36 AM
How horrible. So glad that he is alive and that Heidi stoped to help him.
CMW June 11, 2013 at 07:54 AM
How awful! And what is with people these days?? No one stopped to help, even after the nurse arrived on the scene? I'm surprised no one stopped to take pics like they were at the accident on Detroit Avon Saturday. No one wants to get involved or lift a finger, but they make sure they get a photo for their social media account! Thank goodness for this woman!!
judith szentkiralyi June 11, 2013 at 08:21 AM
Very sad and awful... But how is it though that at 8 pm (15 hours after the incident) the police still had not been able to locate the driver for questioning??
DCKline June 11, 2013 at 08:21 AM
How is it possible that 15 hours after the accident, "police still hadn’t been able to locate — to question — the driver." How many No. 26 RTA busses are headed east through Lakewood at 5:00 AM?
Jason June 11, 2013 at 08:51 AM
I'm not sure it was the smartest thing to chase after the bus and bang on the door...
ian king June 11, 2013 at 09:01 AM
So sad. And glad for the good samaritan who stopped to help. I ride the RTA and use the 26 line frequently. It is not that rare for RTA drivers to pull away from folks trying to get on the bus after it has just left a bus stop. We are talking seconds here, and the bus driver usually will not stop to pick up these potential passengers. And us passengers on the bus can see and also hear the folks pounding/banging on the doors of the bus to let them on. Most of the time the drivers do not stop and let the potential passenger on. My impression is the drivers actually like the "power" they have over a situation like this. I have far too often also seen passengers running to catch a bus, flagging it down, crossing dangerous traffic, only for the bus driver to keep on going, not stopping. Again, we are talking seconds here. There is a reason RTA drivers have such a horrible reputation in this town and this sad incident illustrates why. Trust me. If someone is pounding/banging on the door of the bus to get on it, you hear it inside that bus, loud and clear. If this individual was pounding on the door to get in, the driver heard it. No doubt in my mind. With reduced or eliminated bus routes/frequency, RTA drivers need to help potential passengers get on their bus. Not prohibit them. If a bus is just leaving a bus stop 90% of the time in my experience they can easily stop and still let on passengers. They could also wait for the bus transfer passengers from another bus trying to get onto their bus. Too often, I have seen folks transferring from another bus trying to get on their new bus, and the driver doesn't wait the few seconds needed for them to reach his/her bus. Disgusting, rude, disrespectful and dangerous behavior by the RTA driver. And now, something like this happens. But based on what I have experienced with RTA drivers, sadly, surprised this kind of accident hasn't happened sooner.
Ruth June 11, 2013 at 09:13 AM
Good job Heidi Byroads. You did the right thing by stopping. I find it hard to believe they couldn't narrow it down to what bus was on that route at that time. Hope the man has a speedy recovery.
Timothy Carroll June 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Heidi Byroads, Thanks for helping my friend yesterday. He is a good guy.
Paul Grimm June 11, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I'm surprised this story hasn't received more attention, especially after another RTA driver clobbered Chef Sawyer on a bike.
Claudia Wallace June 11, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Thank you Heidi!! Joseph is a friend and like Timothy said, he is a good guy. You are a hero!! thank you!!
Timothy Carroll June 15, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Sad to say, but this story does not have a happy ending. I will miss my friend Joe. RIP Brother.
Claudia Wallace June 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM
I am sorry Timothy. I agree, I will miss Joseph much. He always had a joke in his heart and a smile on his face. This is so wrong in every way.

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