A cyclist who escaped serious injury after being hit by a bus shortly before it crashed into the side of the house has said that the phone in his back pocket could have helped prevent a potentially life-changing spinal injury.
James Wilkinson was hit by the bus on Friday evening after the driver lost control and crashed into a house, suffering cuts and bruises as well as a chipped vertebrae, but said that doctors told him that having his phone in his back pocket could have helped to prevent much more serious damage to his lower spine.
“Not many cyclists get hit by a bus and survive, let alone walk again on the same night,” Mr Wilkinson told Gloucestershire Live.
“The woman who did the scan at hospital told me my phone protected the lower part of my spine. She said I could have been paralysed. I wasn’t able to walk until about midnight. I felt so lucky.”
Coincidentally Mr Wilkinson, himself a bus driver for another company, said that he had spent the day doing training on how bus drivers should look out for cyclists, before going for a 25-mile bike ride when the crash occurred.
“I felt this massive whack from behind,” Mr Wilkinson continued. “My first thought was, ‘Who is that hitting me?’ I smashed down on the floor then I saw the bus smash into the building.”
Police told Mr Wilkinson that he had been thrown onto the buses windscreen before falling off it shortly before the bus crashed into the house in Prestbury, Gloucestershire.
He was then taken to hospital by ambulance, and was discharged a few hours later but is still suffering from the after-effects a few days later.
“My back and shoulders are really stiff,” he continued. “I had to have a horrible salt bath yesterday.
“I need help getting into bed and I can’t lie down without it hurting. I haven’t been able to sleep properly. People talk about psychological damage. It will be a while before it all sinks in”
Three other people, including the bus driver, were injured in the crash, with the driver suffering serious injuries but being described as being in a stable condition in hospital.