Motorcycle accident kills Gallia woman

JACKSON —A Gallia County woman was killed Saturday when her motorcycle was rammed from behind by a semi-tractor trailer on U.S. 35.

The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Stand Pipe and Clary roads in Jackson County.

According to information provided by the Jackson post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Linda Skidmore, 68, of Gallia County, was traveling west with a group of bikers on U.S. 35. She was driving a Harley Davidson trike-style motorcycle. As the group reached the Clary Road intersection, they slowed to turn right.

Sgt. Paul Mercer of OSHP, a 16-year veteran with the Jackson post, said Skidmore was in the lead of the group as they slowed at the intersection. According to his information, it appeared Skidmore was going to turn right but for unknowable reasons, she moved into the left lane and stopped. Thomas Jackson, 62, of Georgia, was driving a semi-tractor trailer right behind her. Jackson moved left to avoid the rest of the bikers but was unable to slow his truck in time to avoid colliding with the back of Skidmore’s motorcycle.

The collision tossed Skidmore off her vehicle, where she sustained fatal injuries. Mercer said Skidmore was not wearing a helmet.

When asked why Skidmore chose to turn left instead of right, Mercer stated he did not know and likely the reason would remain an “unsolved mystery.”

“The driver told troopers that Skidmore was within 100 yards of him as he tried to stop and was traveling somewhere around 45 to 50 mph. There was no way he could stop in time,” Mercer said.

After colliding with Skidmore’s vehicle, the semi’s momentum carried it into the median. The truck struck several road signs but not before crossing into oncoming traffic on U.S. 35.

Jackson OSHP troopers, along with the Jackson Fire Department, Ohio Department of Transportation, Jackson County EMS and Jackson County Coroner Dr. Hawker, arrived on scene. Officers kept one lane open for the duration of the investigation along U.S. 35.

According to OSHP, no charges have been filed against Jackson.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety published findings that 140 individuals were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2014 along with 3,060 people injured. Injured drivers with no helmets numbered at 1,550.

Fatal injures reported in 2014 involving heavy trucks totaled at 127 individuals. Of reported crashes, 4,270 people were injured.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.