Court date set for local man charged in fatal hit-and-run accident

A local man accused of hitting a married couple with his vehicle while driving on Taylor Road, killing the husband and seriously injuring his wife, will appear in court April 24.

Michael B. Demaio, 36, 2023 Chandler Lane, is scheduled for an initial hearing at 1:30 p.m. in Bartholomew Superior Court 2 on four felony charges accused him of operating while intoxicated resulting in death and resulting in injury and failure to stop after an accident resulting in death and in injury.

Demaio is accused of causing the death of Anshul Sharma, 30, a Cummins engineer, and seriously injuring his wife, Samira Bhardwaj, 28, both of Columbus, as the couple walked north in a buffered bike lane on Taylor Road at 7:15 p.m Sunday, Columbus police said.

Sharma was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bartholomew County Coroner’s office. Bhardwaj was listed in critical condition at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon, hospital officials said.

Columbus police are awaiting blood test results on Demaio, saying he tested negative for alcohol intoxication, but was slow to respond, with slurred speech during his arrest after the incident. Columbus police utilized a staff drug-recognition specialist to run Demaio through a number of field-sobriety tests, which he failed, the probable-cause affidavit states.

Police credited a witness with providing them information to locate Demaio and his red minivan, police said. The witness saw the couple walking on Taylor Road on his way to run an errand, and when returning to the area, saw a red minivan with heavy front-end damage and a damaged windshield driving recklessly on Chandler Lane after the couple was hit, police said.

Columbus police found Demaio’s van in a driveway in the 2000 block of Chandler Lane and found Demaio inside a home there, where he was arrested Sunday night, police said.

Demaio was released from the Bartholomew County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $75,000 bond, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.