Police: Helmet saved life of cyclist hit by car, thrown 80 feet

Police: Helmet saved life of cyclist hit by car, thrown 80 feet
James Klein's bicycle was seriously damaged in the crash. (Photo: McMinnville police)

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A McMinnville bicyclist who was hit by a car and thrown 80 feet in the air while riding on Monday did not break any bones or suffer a serious head injury.

Police said the man’s properly fitted helmet likely saved his life.

The crash happened on Highway 18 near Cumulus Avenue on Monday afternoon.

James Klein was riding his bike along the shoulder when he was hit by a car from behind.

The impact sent Klein flying through the air and severely damaged his bicycle. Klein landed on the shoulder of the highway.

The driver, Sharon Fullmer of Sheridan, told police she was drowsy due to the heat and didn’t know Klein was there until she hit him.

Medics took Klein to a hospital. He suffered some cuts and bruises and needed stitches, but he didn’t break any bones, police said.

Police are still investigating the crash.

Police say the incident is a reminder to bicyclists that helmets can save your life. They also warn that driving while you are drowsy can have dangerous consequences for you and other drivers and bicyclists on the road.