Pickerington Times-Sun

Fatal accident

Driver of vehicle that struck motorcycle is still unknown

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A look at an Ohio Department of Transportation traffic camera from July 16 tells only part of the story.

Footage shows a vehicle in the far left lane heading eastbound on Interstate 70 near Pickerington exit 112A during rush hour.

The car makes an abrupt, near ninety-degree turn across two lanes and then strikes a motorcycle in the far right lane, forcing the motorcycle into the guardrail.

Police reports said one witness described the vehicle as a four-door silver or grey Chevy Malibu. The driver did not stop, but instead took the exit and continued traveling on state Route 256, heading south into Pickerington, leaving behind the couple who were riding the motorcycle.

What the ODOT video doesn't reveal is the devastating consequences that followed.

Gayle Jackowski, 58, was killed after she was thrown from the bike upon impact into and over a guardrail and down a hill into heavy brush. Her husband of 39 years, Carl, was injured.

The Jackowskis were heading from Oklahoma to their home in Flushing, Ohio, a small community in Belmont County.

Pickerington police, with the help of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, are following leads as they continue to search for the driver of the vehicle.

Pickerington Police Cmdr. Greg Annis said a witness described the driver as a "middle-aged, white female with dishpan blond hair, medium length, with loose ends."

He said investigators are still following up on the partial description of the vehicle's Ohio license plate, which a witness said started with the letter "G" and also had the number "1" in it.

Crash investigators reported the suspect vehicle sustained damage to the right side, but it is not known to what extent. Shards of a red brake light lens were embedded in the faring of the Jackowskis motorcycle.

Annis said he can't speculate why the driver made the sharp turn to the exit.

"So many things can be attributed to it," he said. "(The driver) might not be from the area or maybe was distracted."

What Annis said he can say with absolute certainty is the driver needs to step up and do the right thing.

"We request the person to come forward," Annis said.

"Mr. Jackowski deserves some closure.

"We appeal to their humanity to turn themselves in," Annis said.

As of July 22, the driver of the vehicle has not been identified.

"We really don't have new any information, but we have seen an increase in the amount of tips called in to us," Annis said.

Those who have any information about the crash or the suspect vehicle are asked to contact the Pickerington Police Department at 614-575-6911.

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment of the driver of the vehicle in question.

To leave Crime Stoppers an anonymous tip, call 614-461-8477.

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