Auburn Township, OH (WOIO) - 19 Action News Reporter Laura DeMaria was volunteering for the Velosano Bike to Cure event when she suddenly found herself in the middle of a terrifying scene. She was helping out at a rest stop for cyclists about a half mile away from where 26-year-old Braden Tucker was struck by a hit-skip driver in Auburn Township. In fact, she says, Tucker had stopped at her station just moments before to refill his water bottle.
"He was in a rush. He came in. He got his water bottle filled. He didn't even rack his bike. He just got his water bottle filled really quick, and he took off. We could tell he was probably trying to catch back up with his group," said DeMaria.
Then suddenly came a call for help.
"A woman came towards us after she had passed by already - completely separate from the group. She said, 'we need a medic. We need a medic. Someone is hurt really, really bad," described DeMaria.
Luckily medics and a nurse, who happens to be one of DeMaria's close friends, were at the rest stop and able to rush to the scene.
"She was holding his hand. She was holding his hand. The guy was unconscious. She was holding his hand and saying help is on the way," said DeMaria.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Tucker failed to yield the right of way to a vehicle as he traveled east bound on Bartholomew Road. In a strange twist, DeMaria says Tucker's pregnant wife showed up at her rest stop just moments after the accident and heard someone calling for help for her husband. That was how, eyewitnesses say, she found out about the accident.
"Someone else from our rest stop took her to the hospital, and I just can't imagine. I can't imagine being in a position like that," added Demaria.
The Tucker Family released a statement saying they wanted to thank the volunteers at the Velosano race that helped Braden. They also wanted to thank everyone at Metro and everyone out there for their continued prayers and support. They also asked anyone who knows anything about this accident to come forward.