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Cross country athlete finds hope, healing after near-death accident

On a sunny day in June, Peter Frank went out for a run in his home state of Montana, where he was living for the summer during a year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. What happened on that fateful afternoon was nothing short of unexpected.

“I was just running on a road in Montana, and I was crossing an intersection, and a truck didn’t see me crossing,” Frank said. “And then it came and hit me, to put it in the simplest terms.”

Frank was unconscious for 14 minutes before paramedics were able to rescue him and rush him to the hospital.

Peter Frank goes for a run after healing from a near-death accident.
Peter Frank, a student-athlete who competes on Westminster College’s track and cross country team, runs along a nature path. Since the accident, Frank has made a full recovery and is back competing on the team. (Photo Courtesy: Peter Frank)

“Honestly, totally thought it was a dream,” Frank said of his first reaction when he woke up in the middle of a CT scan. “I woke up… just wondering where I was or how I got there.”

Frank, a third-year student who competes on Westminster College’s track and cross country team, broke his ribs and pelvis and suffered a “gnarly concussion,” in Frank’s own words. 

However, his injuries did not require surgery, despite the truck hitting him at an estimated 45 miles per hour.

“Honestly, [I’m] lucky to be alive with how well it ended,” Frank said.

After three months of rest with little to no physical activity, Frank was able to walk again. From there, he advanced from jogging to running. Today, he is back on the cross country team competing.

“I think you have to trust the process,” Frank said. “You have to take that as a blessing and realize that you can’t take [anything] for granted. It all could be gone so fast.”

Peter Frank’s current Instagram bio reads, “Trying to out run my problems and avoid trucks.”

Frank is doing just that.

Hear the full story on this week’s episode of ‘Westminster Stories’ to learn more about Peter, his accident, and how he is doing today. You can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud.


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Abby Mangum is a senior communication major from Boise, Idaho. When she isn't playing basketball for the school team, you can find her daydreaming about running away to the hills of Switzerland or taking photos of nice people and nice things.

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