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The Daily



09-05-03: Crash victim thanks rescuers


A Findlay man critically injured in a crash along U.S. 30 and kept alive at the scene by members of the Celina High School cross country team has expressed his gratitude to those who helped him.
Kevin Rudy, 26, Findlay, was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer along U.S. 30 in rural Hancock County over the past weekend. The Celina cross country team, on its way to a meet in Ashland, witnessed the crash and stopped to help out. Coach Lore Long and several of her athletes tended to Rudy as he was pinned in his car and helped keep him alive until he was flown by helicopter to a Toledo hospital.
Rudy’s wife, Sarah, contacted Celina City Schools officials and The Daily Standard this week in an to attempt to make contact with Long and her team.
“I cannot say how grateful I am for what they did,” Sarah Rudy said in an e-mail to the newspaper office. “Their quick action and determination kept my husband from dying that morning.”
Sarah Rudy said she was on the telephone with her husband when the crash occurred. Only minutes earlier, she said she had reminded him to buckle his seatbelt. The sound of his phone going dead was actually the moment of the crash, she said.
“I don’t know how or why it all happened, all I know is that a brave group of young adults and their coach saved his life and I am forever indebted to them,” Sarah Rudy said.
Kevin Rudy’s injuries included a broken nose and shattered cheek bones, a broken leg, fractured left ankle, 5 broken and separated ribs, a cracked sternum, punctured lung and lacerated liver.
Kevin Rudy, who spent the weekend in intensive care at St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, is improving, his wife said. He has regained full consciousness and has been taken off a respirator. Kevin Rudy also apologized for the bad decision he made to pass the school bus seconds before the crash, Sarah Rudy said.
Long and her team have been invited to appear at a Sept. 21 benefit for the Rudys in Lima. Kevin Rudy played in a rock band and his friends and other musicians are joining together for the benefit to help pay medical bills.
Long, this morning, said there is interest among some members of the team to meet Rudy or do something further to help his family. It remains unclear whether the team could feasibly attend the benefit concert, she said.
Photos of the crash scene can be viewed at www.farfromparadise.com. The site also includes information about the Lima benefit concert. The site also offers thanks to Sue Barga, the driver of the Celina bus, Long and students Ryan Bellman, Brittany Wenning, Phil Denning and Cory Krites for their roles in the rescue.


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The Standard Printing Company
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