To look at the 5-inch-long gash on Clint Lawson’s neck is to wonder how he is sitting in an easy chair at his Woodburn home, talking or even breathing.
“I’ve still got some pain in the neck and part of the throat is still swollen," Lawson told FOX 12 on Tuesday.
Lawson was driving a Greyhound bus last Wednesday night near Troutdale when, he said, 32-year-old Robert Moran-Vasquez came charging at him through a plexiglass door surrounding the driver’s seat.
“And he comes, with all his weight through it and right away, starts reaching for the steering wheel,” said Lawson. “And fighting with me to get control. He was rambling on, ‘I’m gonna kill you!’ and ‘I want off this bus!’ and all that.”
Lawson pumped the brakes and slowly pulled over while still fighting Moran-Vasquez. He said Moran-Vasquez punched him in the neck and then other passengers stepped in to help. Finally, Lawson stopped the bus, opened the door and Moran-Vasquez ran out.
But Lawson was already in serious trouble.
“I felt him hit me and then I felt kind of a burning. But I didn’t know until I got up and passengers told me, ‘You’re bleeding from your neck real bad’. And that’s when I knew that he had actually cut me or stabbed me," Lawson said.
Investigators said Moran-Vasquez stabbed another passenger too, in the face and back. Lawson called 911.
“I’ve never seen such a fast response. I look in my mirror – and this was about 25 to 30 seconds after I got off the phone – and they’re coming," he said.
Deputies captured Moran-Vasquez in minutes. Court documents state he admitted he was high on meth and had a warrant for his arrest.
“I’d like to see more security in the terminals where we pick these people up," Lawson said.
Lawson said he will never drive a bus again, but feels other drivers deserve better. For now, he’s focused on healing and gratitude.
“I’m thinking what if. And I’m thinking too...how lucky I am, to be here," he said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help support Lawson.
Moran-Vasquez is in jail charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment.
Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.