Portland man survives freak car accident involving lumber

A Portland man shouldn't be alive after he was rear-ended on I-205, but not because of the damage done to the outside of his car.

It's what ended up inside his car that easily could have killed him.

"This is a once in a lifetime story. I gotta have pictures or no one will believe it," said Tom Comstock.

He was driving his Nissan X-Terra home in rush hour traffic Wednesday night when the truck behind him rear-ended him.

"When the car behind me hit me, he had a bunch of lumber on his truck that went through my back windshield, into and through and around the steering wheel and almost through the glass in the front," Comstock explained.

He was sitting in the driver's seat where that load of lumber landed after it shot through his car.

"This is where the wood goes whizzing by my head, scrapes my head like that but doesn't remove my head," said Comstock, describing the scratches the wood left on his scalp.

Comstock got out of his car almost immediately after the crash happened.

A few minutes later he noticed paramedics creeping up to his car.

He said they were expecting to see a gruesome scene inside and were relieved to see him standing.

Comstock said he took several pictures at the scene in between emergency crews asking him if he needed help.

He even has a photo a paramedic took at the scene, "You'll see the wood is in the steering wheel. My hand was (just below it)."

After a trip to the hospital in an ambulance to get checked out for a concussion, Comstock, who works as a nurse, said doctors gave him a clean bill of health, told him to take Tylenol, gave him a tetanus shot, and told him to go buy a lottery ticket.

"I lived through something I shouldn't have ... divine intervention is the only thing I can say because my hand shouldn't be attached, neither should my head," Comstock said.

Tom says the wood was attached to the truck that rear-ended him with only a couple of bungee cords.

His wounds will heal, but his car is worse for the wear.

He kept a reminder of how close he came to the end - the logo off of the back of his car.

"I'll make that into a little plaque for the wall. It will be my survivor piece, I guess," Comstock explained.

"I told God, if he's going to save me from death from this and he doesn't send me a boyfriend, I'm going to call a party foul."

Tom Comstock, somehow, is getting a second chance when he knows he shouldn't be alive.

"I look at the pictures and I still go wow!"