WA: U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby Yanks Co-worker From Path of Bus

Jan. 23--U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby is credited by witnesses with pulling co-worker Tim Durkin from the path of a Spokane Transit Authority bus at a busy intersection in front of the federal building Friday evening.

"He would have been hit straight-on by the front of that bus," said Natasha Shallbetter, who was driving downtown with her husband and two children just after 5 p.m. Ormsby and Durkin, an assistant U.S. attorney, were in the crosswalk leading south from the Thomas S. Foley Federal Courthouse across Riverside Avenue. The bus was turning left from North Monroe Street, Shallbetter said.

The collision seemed to occur in slow-motion, she said. Ormsby grabbed Durkin and pulled him away from the bus, though it still struck his head and a wheel rolled over his left foot, fracturing it.

"The metaphor is true," Durkin said Tuesday; "I felt like I got hit by a bus."

He's been ordered to wear a medical protective boot for six weeks as the fracture heals.

The Shallbetters stayed with Durkin until an ambulance arrived, holding the lawyer's leg aloft. They gave statements to police officers who responded to the scene, Natasha Shallbetter said.

Shallbetter, who works downtown, said the intersection at Riverside and Monroe can get dangerous at certain hours.

"It's a pretty hairy intersection," Shallbetter said. "At night, it's not very well lit."

City data shows pedestrian vs. vehicle incidents are rare at the intersection. Since 1998, six incidents have been reported there. Friday's reported accident was the first since 2010.

A spokeswoman with the STA said the agency is investigating the incident. The driver has been placed on administrative leave.

Ormsby, who was named U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington in 2010, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Durkin praised the work of responding Spokane police officers, firefighters and emergency room personnel who helped Friday night.

"I feel really lucky that I ended up with just these injuries," he said.

Copyright 2014 - The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

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