Last night, on the bus ride home from work, the bus driver said something unexpected:
“A pedestrian just ran into my bus!”
Now, when I heard that, I was immediately reminded of all those accident descriptions on insurance forms, where drivers claim that trees suddenly jumped out in front of them, or that old men leap onto the hood of their moving cars. But as it turned out, that’s just what happened.
As the bus was driving down the street in the right lane (I’d say it was going about 30-35 mph) a guy jumped off a retaining wall, sprinted across the pavement and slammed himself into the side of the bus.
I didn’t hear the impact. (Ironically, I was reading Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.) I’m told he survived–an ambulance came for him quickly, and someone who’d seen him said they couldn’t tell how badly he’d been hurt, because he was covered with blankets. I didn’t go near him, because I didn’t want to see anything nasty. I have enough anxiety as it is.
Was it a drunken, mistimed suicide attempt? Was he trying to injure himself to spend a night at a hospital? It did happen just downhill of a long-term homeless encampment.
I’ll never know, I guess.