Odom was there watching his daughter run the marathon. The Torrance businessman was standing near the finish line with other family members cheering her on when he was injured.
"I just cannot believe why it was him of all people," Nicol said. "They were five feet away from him and he got hit and they didn't."
Odom sustained severe leg injuries and nearly died during surgery. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.
"He's had three surgeries, he's not out of the woods by any means," Nicol said. "His legs are really damaged. They're bad."
Odom runs a successful mechanical plumbing company. Nicol, who works there, said his brother-in-law is a kind, generous man.
"John thinks more about us than he does himself," Nicol said. "He lives way below his means, he always has. He's the hardest working person that I've ever met."
Nicol had just received an invitation to Odom's retirement party in May.
"He's worked his butt off for 50 years and he was going to finally kick back and golf and spend time with his grandchildren and that rug got pulled out from under him. It's terrible," Nicol said.
Nicol said Odom is facing a long recovery.
His wife is a well-known real estate broker in the South Bay, and neighbors say the Odoms were a charitable and warm family. According to family members, John Odom's daughter Nicole was running in the Boston Marathon to raise money for a charity.