Maria Tiberi was killed in a car crash earlier this month, and last weekend her classmates on the Ohio State football team gave a touching tribute to her sportscaster father.
Maria was the 19-year-old daughter of Dom Tiberi, the sports director at CBS affiliate WBNS-10TV in Columbus. For years Dom Tiberi covered Ohio State, where his daughter was a sophomore.
When Dom returned to work this weekend to cover the Ohio State game against Wisconsin, the players on the team showed their appreciation. After winning the game, the players walked one-by-one up to Tiberi and gave him a hug, welcoming him back to the school.
The gesture brought Dom Tiberi to tears, and after the last player left it took him a moment to regain his composure.
Dom’s return to the news studio was equally emotional. When he came back to the anchor desk on Thursday, Dom thanked viewers for the support and love they had shown to him and his family.
“It’s never going to be the same. A little piece of me died,” he said, holding back tears. “We’re going to try to make a positive out of this and thanks for sticking with me.”
Maria Tiberi died on September 17 in a crash in Interstate 270. She was driving in the southbound lanes when she struck a semi trailer that had stopped in heavy traffic.
Tiberi was rushed to Grant Medical Center, but pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
As news of her death spread, WBNC-10TV was flooded with phone calls, emails, and social media messages directed to the Tiberi family.
Kirk Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN commentator, sent condolences via Twiter.
“My thoughts & prayers are w/ the Tiberi family this morning. They lost their daughter Maria last night in a car accident. So sad”
Many who reached out did not know Maria Tiberi personally, but felt compelled to send their love.
“Dom, as a long time viewer, I feel like I know you. Words can’t really express how sorry I am for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. Please know you are in my prayers,” wrote viewer Megan Haddox.
The Ohio State football program had already remembered Maria Tiberi in the weekend after her death, giving players a black and white MT sticker to wear on their helmets.