LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Lawrenceburg pediatrician and father of seven remains unconscious in the trauma unit nearly two weeks after a hit-and-run.
While biking along his normal route on Aug. 26, Dr. Thomas Scott Benefield was struck by a vehicle and thrown into a ditch. The driver allegedly sped off, leaving the doctor unconscious.
“And the driver of the Jeep, she was gone. She fled the scene…It’s one thing that this accident happened — we are assuming this was an accident and she didn’t mean to do this — but she left the scene on purpose,” Joe Giamanco, Benefield’s brother-in-law, told News 2.
Thankfully, according to Giamanco, another motorist may have saved Benefield’s life.
“If it wasn’t for the gentleman that was right behind him, he probably would have died on scene,” said Giamonco. “Thank God he stopped and helped him.”
Once paramedics arrived, Benefield was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. For the past 12 days, he has stayed unconscious with a long list of injuries.
“The biggest concern at this point, medically, is the extent of his brain injury from the accident. He was taking all the proper precautions, wearing all the proper gear when he was hit,” Giamanco said, adding that the gear included a helmet, head light, and reflective vest.
Benefield was picking up a new hobby at the time of the incident.
“I got him into doing triathlons and cycling, and while I know it wasn’t my fault, I feel a sense of responsibility,” Giamanco explained.
Now overwhelmed with the unknowns, the father of seven is fighting for his life while his family holds onto faith.
“I told my sister that I was going to do this interview today and I said, ‘Is there anything you want me to say?’ And she said, ‘Ask people for their prayers. That’s what we need,'” Giamanco recalled.
According to Giamanco, Benefield is the kind of doctor everyone wants as a pediatrician, even doing magic tricks and dressing up as Superman for kids.
Benefield’s relatives told News 2 the driver has been identified. However, News 2 is still waiting to hear back from Tennessee Highway Patrol about whether charges have been filed in connection with the incident.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Benefield family with medical expenses. If you would like to make a donation, click here.