Family Remembers Woman Who Died In Fatal Hit And Run, Description Of Suspect Released
As police released new information on the hit and run driver who killed a motorcyclist, the victim’s heartbroken husband shared his story on Friday.
Gayle Jackowski, 58, died Wednesday when the motorcycle she was on was hit by a driver who just kept going.
Her husband of 39 years says she died in his arms, alongside Interstate 70 in Pickerington.
In the peaceful, rolling hills of Belmont County, family isn't just defined by bloodline.
"This is a small, loving community,” said Kim Mercer. "Everybody's family - blood or not."
Tonight this is a family in mourning.
"Everybody just keeps saying she was the kindest person that they knew and everybody just keeps saying 'kind.' That is what Gayle was ..is.. kind," said Mercer, of her sister-in-law Gayle Jackowski.
For Carl Jackowski, the words, and the wounds, run much deeper.
"The love of my life. My girlfriend. My bride," he said.
It was 39 years ago last Saturday that Gayle Jackowski became his bride.
"We started dating at 17. We got married at 19. We had rough times. We had good times. We had more good times than rough. We raised one son, took care of many," he said.
Since his retirement, they've racked up thousands of miles traveling the country on their motorcycle.
"Being free, just being free. It was enjoyable."
They were riding back from visiting family in Oklahoma on Wednesday and were just two hours from home, when it happened.
A traffic camera caught a car in the far left lane darting across two lanes of traffic, and directly in front of Carl and Gayle.
The impact forced their motorcycle into the guardrail, throwing Gayle from the bike.
"I jumped over the guardrail,” he said. “She was sliding down the hill a little bit. I got on the other side so she wouldn't. I kept yelling, ‘Talk to me, talk to me!’ Only thing I heard out of her, 'I hurt,' and her head just dropped down. I knew she died in my arms."
The vehicle responsible was speeding away.
"The night we got here, home, I only got about 15, 20 minutes sleep,” said Jackowski. “I could not sleep, waiting for her to come in the door."
"Right now, we have a loss in our life,” said Mercer. “We have a void because somebody chose to be careless and gutless. And I'm angry. And I'm lost. And I'm hurt."
Carl Jackowski wants just one thing in the world. He knows that's impossible, so he has this request.
"I would love to see this person turn himself in. That would help. It's not going to bring her back, but it would help."
Pickerington Police tell 10TV that a witness describes that driver as a middle-aged woman, 40 or older, with short "dishwater blond" hair with some grey. The vehicle they're looking for is a silver or grey four-door sedan, possibly a Chevy Malibu.
A witness provided a partial plate- the first letter is "G" and the first number is a "1.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1000 reward for information leading to the driver.
You can leave your tip anonymously by calling 614-461-TIPS.