Ben Ramsdell’s commute to work was cut short yesterday after an altercation with a motorist on SE Clinton Blvd (between SE 11th and 12th) resulted in broken bones and a stay in the hospital.
Ramsdell says he doesn’t remember all the details of the incident but that he does not feel his actions warranted the assault.
I spoke to Ramsdell from his hospital bed in OHSU a few minutes ago. Here’s what he remembers:
“I was on my way to work and had just crossed over the (railroad) tracks when he blew by me a half-inch from my handlebars. I was forced to skid into the cars that were parked on my right.
When he came to a stop at the next light (or maybe a stop sign, I don’t remember) I approached his car. I tapped on the glass and told him he almost hit me and that he needs to be more aware. He just scowled and me and flipped me the bird. I think he was upset that I was upset.
He looked like he might get out of his car so I just kept riding. The next thing I knew I was in the ambulance.”
Ramsdell said he didn’t even know a second cyclist was involved until he got to the hospital.
The impact of the crash left Ramsdell with a broken finger, a broken nose, and 30 stitches in his face. He says he’s “missing a lot of skin” and that his neck is “in extreme pain” (luckily nothing is broken.)
At this point, Ramsdell said doctors expect him to return home tomorrow but that he’s “taking it day by day”.
Ramsdell seems surprised that his actions could have provoked someone to do something so violent, “I may have sworn because I was freaked out…but I did nothing that I think would make someone do this.”