College student wearing Barack Obama mask OK after being hit by bus in Austin, TX
It was supposed to be a wacky way to blow off steam during finals week. But on Friday some traditional end-of-semester hijinks -- "Foam Sword Friday" -- had a few scary moments at the University of Texas in Austin when a student wearing a Barack Obama mask was hit by a city bus near campus, according to local media reports.
Cyril Yannick "Nick" Engmann, 18, of Rockwall, Texas, also was reportedly waving a foam sword and sprinting across a busy street near campus when a city bus ran a red light and hit him. He suffered minor injuries and posed for a Facebook photo before an ambulance took him to the hospital. The accident was captured on a YouTube video, below.
"He needs to play football if he can take a hit like that," Madison Wenzler told the Austin American-Statesman.
A freshman engineering student, Engmann was among hundreds of students who had squared off with foam swords along the main drag near campus, facing each other from opposite sides of the busy street.
Ulrich Dangel, an associate professor at the School of Architecture, told the Statesman that Foam Sword Friday started four or five years ago and is a "way to release pressure before the stress of final exams."
"It's a fun easy-going event where students stand across the street from each other and wave foam swords, and when the lights turn red they run across and club each other," Dangel said. He added that students from across the university, not just the School of Architecture, now participate in the popular event.
According to the website of KXAN, a local television news channel:
One of (Engmann's) friends posted on the Foam Sword Friday Facebook page that he was in the hospital but doing well.
"He's alert and alive and will be out and about again in a few hours," the post said.
The impact left the bus with a smashed-in windshield.
"Foam Sword Friday" was first organized by UT graduate students in 2007. School of Architecture Dean Frederick Steiner told KXAN he also took part in Friday's event and said it was sanctioned by the university.
"This will likely be the last year we do it," said Steiner.
TV footage of the event, before the accident, showed that no students appeared to be wearing masks -- much less Barack Obama masks.
Which raises the question of whether Engmann's vision was obscured by the Obama mask -- and thus he failed to see the oncoming bus as he sprinted into the street.
Or perhaps the Obama mask was, well, unlucky.
No information was available as to whether Engmann is a Republican or Democrat.