As the lifeless body of Mary Alice Gleghorn lay in the street early Tuesday, a group of about 10 people gathered around. They held hands and prayed for her.
“God has received another angel today,” a woman said. “Regardless of the situation, we all just need to let it be in God’s hands.”
Sarah Lawrence of Columbus was among those in the circle praying.
“I felt peace about the circle, with the woman next to me, the people around me,” Lawrence recalled.
According to a police report, Gleghorn was a 65-year-old homeless woman who died after being struck by a 2003 Ford F-150 truck on 13th Street in downtown Columbus.
Authorities were called to the intersection of First Avenue and 13th Street around 12:05 a.m. on July 4.
The driver told police she entered the intersection at First Avenue on a green light and did not see Gleghorn, who was standing in the intersection. She told police she had changed lanes to try to avoid Gleghorn.
The 29-year-old Lawrence, who works for a local insurance firm, said she was in a vehicle that turned right on 13th Street from Broadway shortly after the incident.
She saw Gleghorn in the road with another woman standing by her.
“I initially assumed it was a fight or a disagreement,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence asked what had happened and the woman standing behind the body said Gleghorn was not breathing.
Lawrence exited her vehicle to try to help. Others did the same.
Speaking about Gleghorn, Lawrence said, “You could tell she was kind of battered.”
Lawrence wondered if any of the concerned people knew CPR, but after noticing a “pool of blood” around Gleghorn’s head, she knew it did not matter.
“It was traumatic for me. I had never seen anything like that,” Lawrence said.
A woman wearing an American flag tank top came up with her daughter and said she did not know what anyone believed but “can we all just say a prayer?”
“Nobody hesitated,” Lawrence said. “ We came together in a circle and prayed.”
Lawrence described the prayer circle as “just a little beauty that came out of a very sad situation.”