A Georgetown University Hospital employee ran over a drunk Georgetown student Saturday near the intersection of 35th and O Streets as the student and a friend were crossing the street.
Reid Swanson (MSB ’06) was backed over by a car driven by University Hospital radiologist Filip Banovac just after 4 p.m., according to a Metropolitan Police Department report. Banovac was driving eastbound on O Street when he came upon cones blocking the intersection of 35th and O Streets, which forced him to stop and back up, the report said.
The report said that Banovac began backing up in front of the cones “not realizing that there was someone lying in his path on the ground.”
Banovac said that people screamed for him to stop after he began to back up, and he noticed Swanson under the vehicle shortly afterwards.
Banovac said that he did not see anyone behind him when he started to back up and added that Swanson must already have been on the ground when he put his car into reverse.
“He was down there already,” Banovac said.
Swanson said that he and a friend were carrying a keg across the street when he slipped and fell. He agreed that he was already on the ground when Banovac ran over him but contended that the driver should have been more careful when backing up.
“He should have looked behind him,” Swanson said.
Banovac was unable to stop, however, before his car’s back right tire ran over Swanson’s chest and its front right tire ran over Swanson’s left shoulder.
Banovac said that he got out of his car and checked on Swanson by making sure he was breathing and conscious. He said that he did not administer further medical attention to Swanson because he thought Swanson may have been drinking alcohol.
“The general rule if drinking is involved is not to move the victim because they can be more hurt than they think,” Banovac said.
Although he did not provide immediate medical assistance to Swanson, Banovac said that he jacked up his car to give Swanson “some breathing room.”
Shortly after Swanson was injured, MPD, the D.C. Fire Department, and D.C. Emergency Medical Service arrived on the scene, at which point the Fire Department extracted Swanson from underneath the car, according to the police report.
Swanson was transported to the George Washington University Hospital, where he was treated and released the next day. Swanson did not sustain any major injuries, but the police report said that he was found to have had a blood alcohol level of .365, nearly five times the District’s legal driving limit, at the time of the incident.
“I most likely fell because of the alcohol,” Swanson said.
Swanson said the police gave him a $5 ticket for walking as to create a hazard so as to limit any possible legal action he might be able to against Banovac.
Swanson was critical of the ticket, saying that it unfairly limited his legal options. “The police gave me the ticket so I can’t take legal action,” he said.