AKRON, Ohio — Steve MacAdam's hard hat and his instinctive decision to jump moments before he was hit by a car on an Akron highway may have saved his life, but he also believes a higher power was at work.
"I can attribute it to nothing more than the Lord was watching over me," MacAdam said.
The 45-year-old ODOT bridge specialist, who is married with two children, shared his harrowing story from his home in Stow two days after he was released from Summa Akron City Hospital.
He suffered a concussion, a torn leg muscle and a lot of bruising. He's coping with "soreness from head to toe", but counting his blessings as well.
"By the grace of God, I have no broken bones. I'm able to walk away from this thing and be able to see my family again."
Around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, MacAdam exited his ODOT issued Dodge Durango and started walking in the shoulder on I-76 East near the Grant Street bridge in Akron to inspect a culvert. The lights on the large SUV were flashing at the time.
Moments later, he heard screeching sounds behind him and saw a car crash into the center median wall. The vehicle veered off the wall and came straight towards MacAdam.
"Before I had any time to react, it was on me," he said. "At that point, I knew I'm gonna get hit by a car and so my only instinct was to jump."
MacAdam has no recollection of the impact, but witnesses reported he was thrown 15-feet in the air by the car traveling an estimated 55-miles-per-hour.
According to the Akron police, that car's driver, a 49-year-old from Ravenna, had fallen asleep before he hit the wall, traveled across four lanes and struck the ODOT worker. The driver has been charged with failure to control a motor vehicle.
Doctors told MacAdam his decision to jump could have been the difference between life and death because it may have prevented him from being dragged down the highway. The medical staff was also stunned he didn't suffer any broken bones.
"They actually put me through additional scans because they felt they missed something because it's hard to take that type of impact and not have any broken bones."
MacAdam isn't able to bear weight on his leg and has been told his recovery may take a couple of weeks.
Ohio's Move Over law requires drivers to shift over one lane when passing any vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road.
"The importance of slowing down and moving over, it's for the safety of us to be able to keep your highways safe," MacAdam said.
According to ODOT, 22 of their workers have been hit by cars since the beginning of the year. There have not been any fatalities.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that 49 troopers were injured between 2015 and 2019 due to drivers who failed to move over and crashed.
MacAdam told News 5 he's sharing his story with the hopes that drivers will be more careful and avoid distractions.
"If it saves one person from being hit, I'd be happy with that."