A retired Columbus firefighter was one of the men killed in a plane crash in Marietta on Tuesday.
Timothy Gifford saved many lives during his career. And, he formed a bond with one of them, Monica Durban.
She was devastated and her heart shattered when she heard that Gifford was killed.
“Because of this man, I am alive,” said Durban.
Tuesday morning, Gifford and Eric Seevers were flying in a small plane. The two left from John Glenn Columbus International Airport at 6:40, headed to Parkersburg, WV.
The plane crashed in Marietta just after 7 a.m. into the Pioneer Buick GMA dealership.
“Like oh no God…of all the people in the world, why did he have to be the one that died,” she asked.
Durban’s father, Lee, said he’s forever thankful for Gifford.
“He not only was a shining light, but he made Monica feel like a shining light always treating her as a friend, not as a….a victim,” he said.
“In the last minute of his life I’m sure he was thinking about everyone else,” she said. “He is a true hero, a selfless hero.”