Woman, 44, competing in Ohio Ironman with her husband is KILLED when she cycles out of the safety zone and crashes headfirst into an oncoming tractor-trailer
- Kristen J. Oswald, 44, of Royersford, Pennsylvania died during an Ironman event
- She cycled outside of the safety zone and was struck by a tractor trailer
- Oswald, who had worn a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday
- She had entered the Ironman 70.3 Ohio race with husband Chris
- He only learned his wife had died two hours later after completing the race
A triathlon competitor taking part in an Ohio Ironman with her husband has died after being hit by a tractor-trailer during the cycling phase.
Kristen J. Oswald, 44, of Royersford, Pennsylvania, was struck shortly before 9am, near to US 23 and Troutman Road, in Delaware County.
Oswald had already completed a 1.2 mile swim, the first leg of the Ironman 70.3 Ohio race, and was undertaking the 56 mile bike ride when she died.
She cycled outside of a safety zone, where the authorities had enforced a reduced-speed zone for motorists, Ohio State Highway Patrol said. After veering into the left-hand lane of the highway she was hit by a tractor-trailer and died at the scene.
Oswald’s husband Chris was also participating in the race, and only learned his wife was dead two hours later after completing the race, according to NBC4i.
Kristen J. Oswald (left), 44, tragically died during the Ironman 70.3 Ohio race on Sunday, she was racing with husband Chris (right)
The Oswalds had participated in multiple endurance events including another Ironman in Lake Placid last year (above)
Claude Tremblay, 55, of Sarnia, Ontario, was identified as the driver of the freightliner commercial tractor-trailer.
No charges have been brought against Tremblay as of Monday, the New York Post wrote.
Oswald was confirmed to have been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Alcohol and drugs were not suspected to be a factor in her death.
A spokesperson for the race organizers said there were ‘deeply saddened’ to confirm the death in a statement.
‘Shortly after beginning the bike portion of the race, there was an incident with the athlete and a vehicle.
Oswald lost her life after cycling out of a safety zone and into the path of this trailer truck (above)
Police cordoned off the area after the death of Oswald, who had left a cyclist safety zone with reduced speed limit (above)
‘Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support.
‘We are continuing to work with local and state authorities to gather all the details of how this incident occurred and will assist them in any way possible. As this is an ongoing investigation, all further requests should be directed to the authorities.’
Laura Smith Meitzler shared a tribute to her deceased sibling online, describing the incident as ‘overwhelmingly sad.’
‘We had such an amazing time. The best sister and aunt,’ she wrote.
Laura Smith Meitzler (left pic, right) shared several tributes to her sister Kristen Oswald (left pic, left) online and others recalled her kindness. Kristen entered the race with husband Chris (right pic, left)
One mourner who claimed to have known Kristen from high school said: ‘She was always a very sweet person. I can’t even imagine what ur family & Jim’s family are going through. Praying for everyone.’
Beverly Decker Seidner posted: ‘My heart is broken for all of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Remembering Kristi very fondly.’
Around 2,600 people participated in this year’s event, which began at 7am – according to NBC.
The course took them for an initial 1.2 mile swim through Delaware State Park, after leaving the water athletes progressed to the cycling stage.
Climbing aboard their bikes they would then cycle for 56 miles, travelling through three counties and ending at Ohio’s Wesleyan University Stadium.
From there competitors were required to race 12.1 miles back to the stadium.
Courtesy of WSYX