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Redmond PD: Nurses save man hit by SUV on Hwy. 97


(Update: Police release victim’s name, other details; in fair condition)

A 49-year-old Redmond-area man who was struck and seriously injured by an SUV on Wednesday evening as he tried to cross South Highway 97 in Redmond on foot was in fair condition Thursday at St. Charles Bend. Police said he survived thanks largely to two nurses who stopped and performed CPR until medics arrived.

Redmond police and fire medics responded to the crash around 5:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of South Highway 97, near the Lucky 7 Deli & Lottery and Madaline’s Bar & Grill, Lt. Curtis Chambers said.

A preliminary investigation found that Randall Sullenger was trying to cross the highway on foot from east to west “and stepped out in front of oncoming traffic,” Chambers said in a news release.

One vehicle, in the right lane of northbound traffic, was able to stop for Sullenger, but a 24-year-old Terrebonne woman driving a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the left lane of northbound traffic “did not see the pedestrian and struck him,” the lieutenant said. He noted she “was traveling with the flow of traffic,” at 40 to 45 mph.

Sullenger was seriously injured and taken by ambulance to St. Charles Bend, where a house supervisor said he was listed in fair condition Thursday morning. A Life Flight air ambulance was activated but did not respond after being canceled by medics at the scene due to what an officer called logistical issues.

The Jeep driver was unhurt in the crash and her vehicle had minor damage. Officers said the driver stopped and cooperated in the investigation. Chambers said “alcohol or drug impairment (are) not considered to be contributing factors in the crash, and there is no evidence distracted driving played a role.”

Sullenger was trying to cross the highway at a point where there are five lanes, including a center turn lane, and the posted speed limit is 40 mph, he said. The crash and investigation closed all but one southbound lane of the highway for about an hour.

“This section of highway is not well-illuminated, and there is no marked crosswalk at the location,” Chambers said. “Mr. Sullenger was wearing dark-colored clothing, and it was dark, with moderate to heavy traffic at the time of the crash.”

Medics at the scene told investigators Sullenger survived the crash “as a direct result of two nurses who happened to be in the area and stopped to render aid,” performing CPR until first responders arrived, Chambers said.

In Oregon, Chambers noted, pedestrians have the right of way at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Pedestrians must yield to vehicles when attempting to cross a roadway, not in a crosswalk, according to ORS 814.040(1)(b).

“The Redmond Police Department would, again, like to remind pedestrians and bicyclists to wear light-colored or reflective clothing,” he wrote. “Pedestrians must yield to vehicles when not in a crosswalk, and not assume drivers see them.

“Additionally, drivers must always be paying attention and expect the unexpected. Please slow down, allow for extra following distance during darkness and poor weather-related driving conditions.”

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