University of Texas freshman Nick Engmann was having the time of his life, taking part in a university-wide, pre-finals tradition to ease stress when things took a dramatic turn.
The moment happened so fast, he says, he didn’t know what hit him, literally.
‘It wasn’t until I got up, I looked at the bus, I looked at the faces of everyone surrounding me where I actually said, ‘Wow, did I just get hit by a bus?’” Engmann said today on “Good Morning America.”
“I was utterly confused. I had no idea what had just happened,” Engmann said of that instant earlier this month that he was plowed down by a bus in front of the campus. “In all honesty, I thought someone just pushed me over.”
Engmann, 18, was taking part in an end-of-semester, University of Texas tradition known as “Foam Sword Friday” in which students rally around campus to relieve stress before final exams. As his fellow revelers waved their foam swords, Engmann ran into the street at the exact moment that the driver of a city bus ran a red light.
The bus struck Engmann directly, sending the electrical engineering major flying into the air in front of the horrified crowd. Video of the incident posted online quickly went viral and showed the chaos afterward as his friends came to his aid.
“Everybody was in a panic and a flurry,” Engmann recalled. “One second I was really excited to be there with my friends, about to walk across the street and have fun with my friends, and the next second I was on the ground.”
What captured the attention of online eyes is that Engmann, of Rockwall, Texas, got back on his feet and walked away from the accident.
“I got out of the hospital in under two hours with only a sling,” he said on “GMA.” “I’m doing fine myself. I am blessed to be alive and I’m really appreciative to be here.”
Even more impressive was that Engmann not only got up but continued with his studies, completing his first year of college with flying colors.
“It was a little bit more stressful that I had to take it [finals] right after I got hit by a moving vehicle,” he said. “But through a lot of help from people on campus, great friends and family I was able to take my finals and got all A’s and one B.”
The bus driver who ran the red light was a 21-year veteran of the Capital Metro bus company with only one accident, the company said in a statement. He was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, including drug and alcohol testing.
Engmann, for one, is moving forward.
“The lesson here would be more cautious,” he said. “I’m really glad to be alive and well.”