As the rain fell Robert Ciocca could only watch helplessly as troopers investigated the crash.
“I never saw them,” Ciocca, 62, of Sandusky, said breaking down in tears “The girl? I hope she is OK.”
He hugged tight his wife who arrived at the scene after hearing about the crash.
Ciocca was driving a silver four-door Mercury northbound on U.S. 250 about 7: 40 p.m. when he attempted to turn left onto Parkland Avenue, said Zach Yoder, trooper with the Ohio State Patrol. Ciocca hit almost head on a motorcycle driven by Jerry Vara, 58, of Sandusky.
Xiaolan Chen, 22, a passenger on the back of the motorcycle, died.
Chen was thrown from the motorcycle and skidded about 60 feet down U.S. 250, Yoder said.
“It appears neither were wearing helmets,” Yoder said. “I am sure she had serious head injuries.”
She was unresponsive to emergency crews, he said.
Chen, who is from China, is in Sandusky working locally on a visitor exchange program operated by Gaung Dong Alliance Group. She is known as Katie, Yoder said.
“We notified her friends here locally she was involved in an accident,” Yoder said.
She was transported to Firelands Regional Medical Center.
The crash was believed to have been a combination of the rain, the poor visibility of the dark night and the small profile of the motorcycle in which the single headlight was obscured by other lights, Yoder said. Alcohol is not suspected as a contributing factor.
Ciocca was cited for failure to yield on a left turn, Yoder said.
Mary Shepherd of Milan was about four cars back when traffic was stopped by a red light. Her daughter was driving a car ahead of her that made it through.
“Then I heard sirens. I just thought please don’t let it be her,” Shepherd said looking at the motorcycle still under the Mercury.
She is grateful her daughter is safe but at the same time feels sad for those involved in the crash, especially Chen.