Attacked crash witness says it’s ‘a miracle I’m alive’

Crash witness
Crash witness Jim Ferguson talks to KOIN 6 News.

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — A Good Samaritan trying to help victims of  a car crash became a victim himself.

“It’s just a miracle I’m alive,” Jim Ferguson told KOIN.

He witnessed a crash Wednesday morning on Highway 213 at Beaver Creek Road in Oregon City. And he tried to help.

Then the driver turned on him.

“I’m just freaked out this happened,” Ferguson said.

State troopers said Ferguson may be the victim of road rage. They say 50-year-old Kelly Lewallen was speeding and driving erratically Wednesday morning on Highway 213 when he slammed into the back of a pickup.

Ferguson witnessed the crash, and pulled over to help.

“He was trying to blame the other guy,” Ferguson said. “And I’m like, ‘No man, it was you,’ and he all freaked out and he looked like a psycho in his eyes. It was very scary.”

Ferguson was attacked and left with a bleeding cheek and a black eye.

“He punched me in the face, and then he grabbed me,” he said. “And then he put me in headlock, and slammed me to the ground.”

Firefighters arrived to pull Lewallen off the bleeding witness.

Hours after trying to help victims of this car wreck, Ferguson remained shaken. He said troopers told him the suspect was going through divorce and has anger issues.

“I was fearful,” he tells KOIN. “Am I gonna die?”

Oregon State Police reports that random road-rage attacks are rare — and that Ferguson did everything correctly, as the witness of an accident, by pulling over, checking on victims and calling 911.

In the end, despite his injuries, he’s thankful for his survival: “The guy didn’t have a gun or a knife. It just scared me.”

The driver of the pickup that was hit, 41-year-old Angel Aranda, suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Lewallen was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault. Additional charges may be filed related to the crash.

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