Close Call For Dathan Ritzenhein On Oregon Highway

Out of control car grazes his at high speed on Tuesday night.

Kalin and Dathan Ritzenhein after the 2007 Healthy Kidney 10K in New York City. Photo: Jane Monti

Out of control car grazes his at high speed on Tuesday night.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permissi

Three-time USA cross country champion and world half-marathon bronze medallist Dathan Ritzenhein counted himself lucky this morning after an out of control car grazed his at high speed on an Oregon highway last night.

“I was driving back from dropping the family off at the airport (they were going to Michigan), and I was going down the freeway when a big old car came flying up two lanes over,” Ritzenhein recounted in an e-mail to Race Results Weekly today.

Ritzenhein was driving westbound on Interstate 84 from Portland International Airport about 10:00 p.m.

“Their tire blew out and they started swerving all over and came across three lanes and smashed into the cement going probably 75 MPH,” Ritzenhein continued.  “It just grazed the hitch on (the rear of) my car. One more inch and it would have been very bad!”

Ritzenhein, who has two children, was unhurt but mentally shaken up.

“Very creepy when the headlights are shining right into the window feet away!” he wrote.  “Way too close.”

The 28 year-old Ritzenhein, who is coached by Alberto Salazar, is still making his way back from the foot surgery he underwent earlier this year.  Salazar recently told the Oregonian newspaper that Ritzenhein was planning to run the 10,000m at the USA Outdoor Championships next month.