By TIMOTHY COX
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
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
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
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
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.