A high-profile runner who was making his way from Santa Monica to New York is recovering at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center after he was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver in Madison County.
Nick Ashill, a marketing professor from New Zealand was hit by a dark pickup truck along the westbound lane of Route 40 near the Madison/Clark County line. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating but said Sunday they have no suspect.
From his hospital bed suffering with broken legs, a broken pelvis, monitors constantly beeping, Ashill said the incident is something that plays over and over in his head because he thinks the driver hit him on purpose. "It is something that does haunt me. I have tried to rationalize and provide an answer to that question so many times in my head I don't think I look like a wild animal when I am running. I always wear colorful clothing so it's not as if I looked like a wild deer. I can think of no other rational explanation."
"I have never met this individual. If he or she has any sense of humility or sense of compassion I ask them to step forward and make contact with the police," said Ashill with his wife Sarah by his side. The couple has four children.
Troopers said they are looking for a 1992 to 1998 GMC or Chevrolet pickup truck. The mirror and right side may have sustained damage.
"Once I can put weight on my legs which won't be for another six weeks then I will start to learn to walk again.Then hopefully run one day. I am just a regular guy that wanted to do something , an ordinary guy that wanted to do something extraordinary," said Ashill.
Ashill was on a journey to raise money and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust because his mother died of a rare lung disease. He wants to complete his coast to coast run.
"I have to deal with what life has given me, right now, and work with what I have and put that right as best as I can. This person needs held accountable and the best way in which I can help this person right now is to get him or her off the road so it doesn't again potentially happen to somebody else."