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Sports presenter's daughter not at fault in fatal crash that killed her as cause remains a mystery

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  • Dom Tiberi has started driving foundation in memory of Maria
  • 21-year-old died after her car collided with a truck on September 17
  • No drink or drugs were in her system and student was not using phone

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 23:16 EST, 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 00:49 EST, 29 November 2013

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The cause of a fatal crash that killed the 21-year-old daughter of an Ohio sports presenter in September is still a mystery, police say.

Maria Tiberi hit the back of a truck at about 11pm on September 17, but tests have proved she had not been using her phone and had no alcohol or drugs in her system.

An investigation found no sign that the daughter of WBNS-TV anchor Dom Tiberi had applied her brakes and she had not been driving erratically.

Loved: Tiberi shared this photograph of himself and his daughter Maria, who died in September

Loved: Tiberi shared this photograph of himself and his daughter Maria, who died in September

'It is believed that a momentary lapse of attention or an unknown distraction was the probable cause of the accident,' investigators told the Columbus Dispatch.

Her father is now campaigning to make young drivers more aware of the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel.

He has set up the Maria Tiberi Foundation to encourage better defensive driving.

'Too many youngsters die on the highways every day,' Tiberi told WBNS-TV. 'I tell you kids out there, don't do this to your parents. It's been hell on earth for me and my entire family.'

When the sports anchor returned to work after losing his daughter, the entire Ohio State football team lined up to hug him.

A touching video captured the moment, as Tiberi seemed completely overwhelmed by their kindness and took a moment to regain control of his emotions after the final player left.

Emotional: Tiberi's eyes filled with tears when he returned to work a week after his daughter's death

Emotional: Tiberi's eyes filled with tears when he returned to work a week after his daughter's death

Maria Tiberi
Maria Tiberi

Stunning: The Ohio State student died after she crashed her car into a stationary truck in Hilliard, Ohio

'It's never going to be the same. A little piece of me died,' he said when he returned to work. 'We're going to try to make a positive out of this and thanks for sticking with me.'

Following the death of Maria, an Ohio State student, the community rallied together to show its support.

'We are deeply saddened to hear of this tragic accident, and our hearts and thoughts are with Maria’s family and friends,' OSU Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs said.

The principal of Dublin Coffman High School, which Maria had attended, called her a 'wonderful young lady'.

'I will never forget and can still picture her amazing smile that she so effortlessly blessed us with each day,' Mike Ulring said. 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tiberi family as they remain great friends of Coffman High School and the Dublin Community.'

Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State who went on to become an ESPN commentator, sent his condolences via Twitter.

Support: Broadcaster Dom Tiberi is hugged by every member of the Ohio State University football team after he returns to work following the death of his daughter, Maria, who was killed in a car crash

Support: Broadcaster Dom Tiberi is hugged by every member of the Ohio State University football team after he returns to work following the death of his daughter, Maria, who was killed in a car crash

Tiberi
Tiberi

Overwhelmed: Tiberi, a veteran of the channel, became emotional after the show of support from the team

'My thoughts & prayers are w/ the Tiberi family this morning,' he wrote. 'They lost their daughter Maria last night in a car accident. So sad.'

Tiberi has been a sportscaster with WBNS since 1981 and covers Ohio State University.

He has numerous honors, including a Media Service Award from the Ohio High School Athletic Association and a Press Award from the Greater Columbus Tennis Association.

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