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Tempe City Council candidate lucky to be alive after frightening car wreck

(Marc Norman Photo)

PHOENIX — A man running for Tempe City Council says he is lucky to be alive after a frightening car wreck involving a school bus Tuesday.

Marc Norman told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday he was driving to Tempe High School for a meeting around 12:45 p.m. when a school bus in front of him stopped at the railroad tracks at Southern Avenue and Kyrene Road.

As he was stopped in his 2008 Pontiac, a Jeep rear ended him, sending him into the bus.

“I didn’t even hear skids, sounds, anything,” Norman said. “It’s a weird experience, because I didn’t see it coming at all.”

The Jeep was going 40-45 mph when it hit Norman’s car, Tempe Police Detective Greg Bacon told KTAR News.

The passenger side of Norman’s car was pushed under the bus, the impact peeling off the car’s hood.

Norman said he was able to remove himself from the car, and he stood in shock as he waited for the paramedics to arrive.

An X-ray at the hospital revealed he had no broken bones, but he said he has been wearing a precautionary neck brace and experiencing back pain.

Norman said a doctor in the ER told him, “You are the luckiest guy I’ve ever seen come out of a car crash alive.”

Bacon said the Jeep driver was cited for failure to control speed to avoid a collision, but officers could not determine if distracted driving was a factor.

Norman, a musician and activist, said the crash has forced him to pause his campaign for the March 10 election — he will be missing a Friday forum for candidates — but he plans to continue once he’s recovered.

“I’m hoping that this won’t last forever,” he said.

Besides the pain, Norman said the fear he felt during the incident has been hanging over him. He has not taken a ride in a car since his ambulance ride to the hospital.

“I was in the exact spot that I didn’t get cut in two,” he said.

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