Crash victim saves five lives; Strub speed limit won't change

PERKINS TWP. Michael Gisondi died Sept. 28, struck by a car while rollerblading on Strub Road in Per
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Michael Gisondi died Sept. 28, struck by a car while rollerblading on Strub Road in Perkins Township.

Somewhere, though, his 13-year-old heart is still beating.

His kidneys are is still working, too. His lungs are still taking in oxygen; his liver still filtering impurities.

Those organs belong to five strangers who were issued new leases on life after receiving organs from Michael's dying body.

"He saved five lives," said Tammy Buckley, Michael's mother. "His heart, his lungs, his kidneys, his liver. They all started to function immediately."

That's what doctors told her in a letter, Buckley said. It was a kernel of comfort in the wake of tragedy that, in a perfect world, could have been prevented.

"It could have just as easily been someone else's son or daughter that died," Buckley said, leaning against the countertop in her Campbell Street apartment.

If she looked out the window, she could almost see the spot where Michael died. It was less than a quarter-mile from home.

The day after Thanksgiving, Buckley was inside that home, wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Michael on the front. The picture, and dozens of others like it, were posted around the apartment. They boasted a handsome boy who possessed a cool smile and bright eyes.

"There were so many girls at the funeral," Buckley said. "Lots of them. They loved him."

Buckley can talk about her son for a bit, but then the tears come.

"It's so hard," she said, coughing as tears spilled down her cheeks. "It's really hard. I hope no other parent ever has to go through what I'm going through."

That's why Buckley and her family are championing the cause to improve safety in Perkins Township. They've set sight on the area where Michael died, near Perkins High School along Campbell Street and Strub Road.

Township trustees asked the county engineer's office last month to conduct a traffic study in that area to see if the speed limit could be lowered from 45 mph to 35 mph.

A letter released this week by the engineer's office concluded the speed limit cannot be reduced.

But Buckley remains unfazed by this news.

She said she's working with trustee-elect Mike Printy to circulate a petition to gain residents' support for a bike path on Strub Road and Campbell Street.

So far, she's collected nearly 100 signatures.

"There are three schools here," Buckley said. "Kids are always walking or running down these streets. They need a bike path.

"If they can afford to pave these roads, they can afford to put in a bike path," she said. "You can't put a price on a child's life. If it saves someone else's son or daughter, it's worth it."






this is my cousin :(((

we miss you michael!