An Oklahoma State University junior was named in an accident report as the driver of a motor vehicle that ran over and severely injured an OSU faculty member while he was riding his bicycle Wednesday morning.
Hunter Moore, 20, was driving his silver Infiniti westbound and was turning into the Villa Court Apartments parking lot at 1517 W. Fourth Ave. when he collided with bicyclist Seth Wood, 32, a visiting assistant professor in the OSU English department, according to the report. Wood was riding his bike to campus. Moore was issued a citation for failure to yield while turning, Stillwater Police Capt. Randy Dickerson said Thursday.
It is likely Wood suffered further injuries after he was knocked off his bike when the same vehicle ran him over again, Dickerson said. Wood suffered extensive injuries to his head and torso and was taken to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City via helicopter. He wore a helmet at the time of the accident, Dickerson said.
Moore said he was looking at a vehicle behind him that he accidentally turned in front of and did not see Wood, according to the report. Wood waved at Moore to try to get his attention before he was struck.
Mark Waits, owner of Tower Park Apartments across the street from the accident, said he heard a man, possibly Wood, yell, followed by the sounds of a vehicle screeching and a collision. Waits said he ran from his office to the source of the noise and saw Wood lying on his back and another driver helping him.
Waits said Moore called 911 to report the collision but was too unstable to accurately provide his location.
“I ended up taking the phone from (Moore) because he wasn’t clearly conveying where we were,” he said. “I think he was just in shock, but when I took over, the operator was asking me what address we were in, which I was really surprised at.”
Waits also said Moore was somewhat helpful but seemingly distant, likely a result of distress.
Wood’s eyes were open, but he was convulsing, bleeding from his nose and mouth and was hardly breathing.
“At one point — this all happened so quickly and was really dramatic, of course — I’m pretty sure he stopped breathing for a few seconds,” Waits said. “Maybe as many as 5, 10 seconds. I thought he was dead.”
Waits and the other passenger pulled Wood from his back to his side to try to get the blood out of his mouth and nose, which he spit out and started breathing. He began to moan and breathe shallowly and was unresponsive the entire time Waits was with him, he said.
After paramedics arrived, Wood was flown to the OU Medical Center and admitted into the intensive care unit, where he remains, said John Steen, Wood’s roommate, who also is a visiting assistant professor. He suffered a fractured pelvis, fractured ribs and cuts on his face. He underwent surgery Wednesday to remove his spleen, which went well, Steen said.
Wood also had surgery Friday morning. Steen said he believed the operation was to remove his gallbladder and finish closing up a wound, which also went well.
It is unclear how many surgeries Wood will need, Steen said.
He has been dependent on a ventilator, which Steen said would hopefully be removed by Sunday.
“He has been communicating very well, actually,” he said. “He can move his lips and has been responding to all the doctors’ commands to move parts of his body and tell them what happened.”
Steen said Wood hopefully will be able to speak soon, which will shed more details about the accident. It’s unknown whether he will make a full recovery, but Steen said his doctors are optimistic.
Wood’s wife, son, parents and in-laws have been by his side for the majority of his hospitalization, and community support has been overwhelming, Steen said.
A fund to help pay for Wood’s medical bills has been established. Donations can be made at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/seth-s-road-to-recovery/44411.
Wood and Steen attended college together at Emory University in Atlanta and began working at OSU in August.
While Wood recovers from his injuries, other visiting professors and teaching assistants in the English department are covering his classes, said Carrie Hulsey-Greene, associate director of OSU Communications, on Thursday. He teaches English composition, introduction to literature and survey of American literature, Director of Communications Gary Shutt said.