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Bush bruised after dive to avoid truck

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 2, 1999


AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican presidential front-runner, sustained minor injuries to his right leg and hip Monday when he dived to avoid a garbage truck trailer that overturned near his jogging path.

Bush was treated at the scene and later traveled to New Hampshire for a scheduled campaign appearance, said his press secretary, Linda Edwards.

"If I needed to I could go out and run 3 miles," Bush said after arriving at the Berlin Airport in Milan, N.H.

Staff Sgt. Roscoe Hughey, a Texas Department of Public Safety agent who was accompanying Bush on a bicycle, received bruises on his left side, said department spokeswoman Tela Mange. Hughey, 39, was treated at Brackenridge Hospital and released, said hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Elsea.

Bush was running on the hike-and-bike trail around Town Lake in downtown Austin when the accident occurred about 12:06 p.m, according to Edwards and the Austin Police Department.

A truck pulling a dumpster-like trailer was traveling on the street that parallels the jogging trail when the trailer overturned. Debris, including chunks of concrete and wood, were dumped across the jogging path.

"I was at the end of a 3-mile run when I heard the noise, looked back, saw it start to tip and my instincts were to dive," Bush said from New Hampshire.

He said he scraped his right leg and hip when he dived behind a bridge support, but was not struck by debris from the truck.

"I've got a significant strawberry," Bush said.

"I'm very lucky and so is the DPS agent. I was very concerned about him."

Ernest Bedford, 50, a pipeline inspector who was working nearby, said he didn't hear any brakes squeal, just "a big, loud bang."

Bedford said he saw Bush in the clear but "the other guy was reaching his hand up out of the debris."

Bush used Hughey's cellular phone to call DPS officials at the governor's mansion, and they called 911, Edwards said. "The governor stayed with Roscoe until he was in the ambulance," she said.

Austin police spokesman Kevin Buchman said that the accident was being investigated and that no charges had been filed. Police did not release the driver's name.

Because no one was killed, any penalty would likely be no more than a couple of traffic tickets, Buchman said.

The truck was operated by Longhorn Disposal, a subsidiary of Waste Management of Houston. The driver has worked for Waste Management for 13 years, the company said.

Waste Management spokeswoman Cherie Rice said that the truck "experienced a shifting of waste material" and that both companies were investigating.

The 53-year-old Bush said the accident wouldn't curb his jogging on public streets: "I intend to go jogging on the very same spot."

Smith returns to GOP

CONCORD, N.H.- After 111 days as an independent, Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire returned to the Republican Party Monday, in time to be considered for the chairmanship of the powerful Environment and Public Works Committee

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