At the scene of the accident, he was said to be conscious and alert, but suddenly, 59 year old Kenneth Reynolds is in critical condition at a local hospital.
Last Monday morning, under dark and rainy conditions, Reynolds was struck by a South Bend schools bus as he crossed Elwood Street at the intersection of Portage Avenue.
“Seemingly, this individual although injured, is not gravely injured,” said South Bend Police Captain Phil Trent. “He’s taken to a local hospital, he’s talking, he’s alert and conscious, able to answer officer’s questions and then later in the day we heard this individual is in critical condition and currently we’re not sure whether he’s going to make it or not.”
According to the police report, the bus driver did not see Reynolds as he walked across the street wearing dark clothes.
Reynolds had nearly reached the curb when he was struck by the bus on the passenger side front—as it made a right turn off Portage Avenue and onto Elwood. A spokesperson for the South Bend Community School Corporation believes that the pedestrian was struck by the mirror of the bus.
“At the scene it appeared that he collided with, with a bus, and his head struck something—we don’t know whether it struck the bus, the ground, still kind of a mystery,” said Capt. Trent.
The impact of the collision wasn’t strong enough to damage the bus, and originally didn’t appear strong enough to seriously hurt the pedestrian.
“There was heavy bleeding from the head, and that's you know, that's not uncommon for a laceration to the head to be messy, blood and at the time because of his level of consciousness nobody you know thought that it was an injury that could be life threatening,” said Capt. Trent. “You know, had we had known it was going to be this severe, would have been obviously handled a little bit different from a police side, fatal accident crew would have investigated, this as opposed to your, just your standard patrol officer's crash report.”
A friend of Reynolds today told News Center 16 that Reynolds had brain surgery last night to address bleeding. Reynolds is still listed in critical condition.
The police report identifies the bus driver as 47 year old Kimberly Thomas. She remains on administrative leave pending further review of the crash.
The report describes the apparent physical condition of Reynolds as “had been drinking.” A portable breath test Reynolds was given at the hospital registered a .010% BAC.
“They gave him a breath test, not for any criminal purposes but just to see if he had any alcohol on board, he did, not an extensive amount from what it appears and obviously if you're not driving it’s not as if you're committing some sort of crime by having some alcohol on board,” said Capt. Trent.