GRESHAM -- A Portland man barely escaped getting run over by a MAX train Tuesday and said he can’t believe he’s alive.
Now Ian Sutherland said he wants to share an important message about safety.
Sutherland told KGW he was getting off the MAX platform at 181st and Burnside on his way to work and didn’t notice that a train was heading toward him.
He was wearing his ear phones and clipped his feet into his bicycle pedals, then looked up to see the train at the last moment.
"I thought I was going to die. I sincerely thought I was going to die," Sutherland, 29, said.
Sutherland said he had just enough time to unclip and push himself back. The train still grazed one side of his body, but it wasn’t a direct hit due to that split-second move.
"If I had been a few more inches I'm sure my legs would have been pulled underneath that train," he added.
The impact threw Sutherland from the crosswalk to the center of a nearby intersection. Maryellen Gisi was working on that Max platform Tuesday morning.
"It was horrifying to watch. That's the only way to put it, it was really traumatic. I've never seen anything like that and I hope to never see anything like that again," said Gisi.
Besides a bruised backside, Sutherland is doing okay.
Now he wants to warn people about the danger of wearing earphones near busy roads or train tracks.