A UNIVERSITY worker today told how he felt “lucky to be alive” after being struck in the face by a bus wing mirror as he stood on a pavement.
Calum McEwan, 38, was knocked unconscious in the horror accident on Gorgie Road and needed 18 stitches to wounds that left him looking like “Frankenstein’s monster”.
The Hearts fan spoke out after being awarded £9000 in damages in a court action against Lothian Buses, which had claimed the collision was not its driver’s fault.
But judges at the Court of Session ruled pedestrians were “entitled” to be “not at risk” from passing vehicles.
Mr McEwan, an estate worker at Heriot-Watt University, said: “I’d just popped out to get a few odds and ends from the shop. I was standing on the pavement and looked to my right to check the traffic and the bus mirror hit me immediately.
“I was knocked out cold and when I woke up there was a paramedic over me. The police closed off the road and an ambulance took me to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
“The mirror hit me next to my eye. I hit the other side of my head on the pavement when I fell and cut that open too. At hospital I had an MRI scan then got 18 stitches to the cuts and was kept in overnight.
“I looked like Frankenstein’s monster the next day. I don’t know how fast the bus was travelling but I felt lucky to be alive. Touch wood, I’ve only got scars and no other problems.”
Lothian Buses had claimed Mr McEwan was “extremely drunk” when he was hit, but never put forward the defence in court. Mr McEwan rubbished the claim and said he had drunk “two pints”.
He originally lost his compensation bid after a sheriff ruled in November that the accident, which took place at 3.45pm on November 9, 2010, was “not reasonably foreseeable” and the driver was not at fault. But his solicitors at Slater & Gordon appealed and judges Lord Eassie, Lady Clark and Lord Philip ruled the sheriff “erred in making findings of fact which have no proper foundation”.
Mr McEwan, of Hutchison, called for more training for bus drivers to protect pedestrians. He added: “I hope Lothian Buses learn a lesson and bring in training to avoid this happening again. People should be safe on the pavement. The next victim could be killed.”
Jennifer Murphy, his personal injury lawyer at Slater & Gordon, said: “If you are on the pavement you have the right to expect that you won’t be hit by a bus. So we are delighted that the original decision was overturned and our client has got a fair settlement for the injuries that he incurred.”
A bus firm spokeswoman said they did not wish to “provide any comment”.