PORTLAND, Ore. – Former Ducks star and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington said his collision with a SUV while riding his bike in Southeast Portland was worse than any beating he took on the football field.
"Play 15 years of football and never break a bone, and then I'm on a bike ride and end up in the ICU," said Harrington, speaking about the crash for the first time Friday.
Harrington was riding home two weeks ago on Southeast Foster near 88th when a driver didn't see him and clipped his back wheel. He landed on the hood of the SUV then went airborne as it came to a stop.
"And it wasn't until I was, you know, midair that I realized that was me that just got hit and I landed on the ground."
He came down on his head and shoulder, breaking his collarbone and a couple of ribs, one of which punctured a lung. His helmet probably saved his life.
"Then I got home and saw my helmet. I felt pretty lucky after seeing what could've happened."
After seeing more accidents on the news lately between bikes and cars, Harrington said he wants to share what he knows firsthand about helmets. He's teamed up with local company Nutcase to provide free helmets to kids who can't afford them.
As for cycling, he said he'll get back on a bike – just not right away.
"I plan on swimming for a little while. There are no cars in the pool," he said.
Harrington doesn't hold anything against the driver who hit him. He said it was just an accident.
He also said he's grateful for a motorcycle rider named Steve who was the first to rush to help him and gave him some peace of mind while he waited for the ambulance.