Man critically injured walking niece across east Columbus street; police search for driver

Joshua Powell was struck by a vehicle after trying to cross the street with his niece in east Columbus. (Courtesy: Josh Powell's family)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A beloved uncle returning from a movie with his niece was struck by a vehicle in the street.

Joshua Powell, 38, is in critical condition and police are looking for the driver who didn't stop.

It happened at approximately 10:15 Saturday night at East Main Street and Waverly Street in east Columbus.

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Powell's loved ones say he lives for his family.

"...To spoil his nieces and nephews — that's Joshua," said sister-in-law Dominique Powell. "He's a good man."

And the feeling is mutual.

"Big sense of humor, big heart, never been in trouble a day in his life. He's just a regular saint," said his brother, William Powell.

Powell was returning home Saturday night after taking his 11-year-old niece to see "The Lion King."

She said they had just gotten off the bus and were walking across East Main Street at Waverly Street when it happened:

"My daughter said the car came at a very high rate of speed and almost hit her, and instead of it hitting her, Josh took the hit," Dominique said.

The panicked girl called 911:

"My uncle got hit by a car. His head is bleeding. They say he still has a pulse."

"He's on the ground right now," said another witness who called 911. "He's in the street. Traffic is stopped."

Traffic stopped, but the driver who hit Powell kept going.

"If it was an accident, they would have stopped," William said.

"Yes," Dominique said. "If it's an accident, you stop and call the police."

"They would have seen — the child that they almost ran over — was she safe?" William said.

"And this person just kept going. And now my brother is fighting for his life. And you're sleeping at night, and we can't sleep," Dominique said.

They say Powell has severe injuries to his head and brain along with trauma to his body.

"They're trying to get him to wake up. And the doctor said today we just have to wait for him to wake up on his own," Dominique said. "Our family is hurt. Our kids are hurt. We just want Josh back. We want our Josh back. We don't want a different Josh back. We want our Josh back."

And to anyone with answers about what happened, they plead:

"Please come forward. Have a heart," Dominique said.

"Do the right thing." William said. "And they know what that is."

Witnesses describe the vehicle as a dark-colored four-door sedan with front-end damage.

Anyone with information is asked to call Columbus police at (614) 645-4545.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Powell to help support his expenses. That page can be found here.