SILVERTON, OH (FOX19) - A man in a wheelchair was hit and killed in an alcohol-related crash overnight.
Robert D. Tirey, 44, of Cincinnati was operating a motorized wheelchair southbound in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by an eastbound vehicle in the intersection of Section Road and Ohio Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
Tirey lived at the SilverPoint Nursing Home on Ohio Avenue.
Some knew him as Robert, but others had an affectionate nickname for him.
"Wheels, yeah, that's what we like to call him, Wheels. He came in about, like I said, either every day or every other day," Chris McBride said.
He said he would stop by to pick up a pack of cigarettes or a chocolate shake and acted as if he had no disability at all.
"He really didn't need much help. When he came in people would come and almost open the door but he would just push on through. He had it all himself. He was very upbeat. He was a nice guy, always happy, always smiling," McBride said.
Anthony Simmons, who is also in a wheelchair, talked about how dangerous it can be for people in their situation.
"A couple of times I've had some people actually just turn on me and I had to actually stick my hand out keep the car from actually hitting me," he said.
The driver of 2004 Kia Spectra, Jasmain L. Grier, 26, of Cincinnati failed to yield to Tirey, sheriff's officials said.
He was taken to Jewish Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Grier was not hurt in the crash.
Alcohol is a contributing factor, sheriff's officials said. Speed and drugs are not related.
It is unclear if Grier wore a seat belt.
The incident remains under investigation.