Biker injured in hit-and-run downtown
Sandusky Register Staff
Jun 7, 2013 at 7:52 AM
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A biker was severely injured Thursday morning at Washington Row and Columbus Avenue when a pickup struck him on his motorcycle and then fled the scene.
Sandusky police and firefighters and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers responded to the scene shortly before 3 a.m. after a report of a hit-and-run.
When they arrived, the biker, Robert Rummel, 40, of Palatine, Ill., was lying in the middle of the road on his back, his damaged Harley-Davidson on its side next to him. Two of his fellow bikers stood nearby, clearly distraught.
Paramedics arrived and loaded Rummel onto a stretcher, then into an ambulance bound for Firelands Regional Medical Center. Police said he suffered multiple bone fractures, and he was soon flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Toledo.
At the scene, Rummel's fellow bikers told police the pickup was a 1990s model extended cab, either green or blue in color. The truck ran over Rummel and his motorcycle, then backed up, flipping the bike over on its other side. The truck then fled the scene, heading south from Washington Row and Columbus Avenue.
A short while later, dispatchers received a phone call from a Sandusky woman — Christina Merlo, 29 — who said she was having a panic attack because she had just been involved in an accident, police said.
When police arrived at Merlo's Hendry Street home, they found the suspected pickup parked outside.
Merlo was taken to the hospital, but she was also charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident — a felony, given the extent of the victim's injuries — and driving under suspension, police said.
Rummel's fellow bikers also told police they're from the Chicago area.
Officers said they later learned Merlo's friend drove downtown earlier in the night, but Merlo got into an argument with her friend and demanded the keys back. The friend told her, "Good luck when you get your DUI," police said.