Hood to Coast runner 'very lucky' after being hit, run over by relay participant
A Hood to Coast runner, who was run over and dragged by a stolen pickup truck, joined her teammates at the end of the relay hours after going to the hospital.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office said race participant David Jon Blackmon, of Bend, Oregon, stole a port a potty company's pickup and drove it into a nearby field.
Cindy Gillespie told KATU News she and her teammates were resting in the designated sleeping area around 2 a.m. when they saw headlights.
"My teammate said, 'Oh my gosh, he's not stopping.' So I had enough time to sit up and turn and see that he was going to hit me. I laid as far as I could on the ground and then he ran over me," Gillespie said.
In a split second decision, she said she laid completely flat in the hopes the car would pass over her.
"The truck hit me and my sleeping bag hooked onto something, and I was being drug underneath the car. They told me I was drug 10 feet."
When the truck stopped, she said it was on top of her left leg. Gillespie said she yelled for help.
After she was hit, she was taken to Oregon Health & Science University where she was released around six hours after she was hurt.
"They said I was very lucky. I had no broken bones, and I just have bruised muscles."
Gillespie said she has participated in Hood to Coast 20 times and wanted to join her team at the end of the race in Seaside.
"I had put in all that work running Hood to Coast and the best part is the party at the end. Not that I feel like partying, but I didn't want to be without my team."
Her team's logo was "Sustain the Pain." The group did not continue the race after Gillespie was hit, but all of them received honorary medals for taking part in the relay.
"It's truly a blessing to be alive," Gillespie said.
Blackmon faces DUII and assault charges.