Biker injured in hit-and-run downtown

Pickup strikes motorcycle then flees scene, leaving biker in road
Sandusky Register Staff
Jun 6, 2013

Click here for related articles and photos. 

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. 



"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. "

That says it all. Her "friend" shoulda kept the keys and told her to walk. Who was sober at the scene besides the cops at 3:00 am?


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.
let me see, I willing to bet some bike week haters will blame the biker!

Tsu Dho Nimh

If bartenders can be held accountable for serving, can the friend be held accountable for handing the keys to a drunk?


This one will be settled out of court. Was the biker over the limit , too? With all the action downtown, how does anybody place blame on anyone, especially when all were more than likely over the limit except for the first responders?

Think about it....3 AM party week.

Good 2 B Me

You can ASSume all that you want. I am out late many nights, whether at Bike Week or other events. I NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL. Being out late does not convict anyone of a crime. Let's not crucify the biker for being hit and ASSuming he is guilty of anything.


Did you miss this part, Good? "likely over the limit"

Good 2 B Me

Yes, I do not see it anywhere that the biker was being looked at as being likely over the limit, let alone drinking at all. You are ASSuming that because they were out at 3:00am they were drinking.


And? That is a fairly good assumption. IN fact, I would easily bet the odds are over 50% which makes it a fair, honest and likely accurate assumption.

Left Sandtown

Didn`t listen to the ad,friends don`t let friends drive drunk,but all this drinking needs to go away.Biker week update,Regular folk-2,Bikers-1.Have a good time and God Bless.


LOL! Really SR?


It's a bad thing to bet on negativity, VOTENO.


So how many?


Not my call.


You taking bets on how many more motorcycle drivers needing to be peeled off the pavement disgraceful.


How many? Who is taking bets?


This isn't the first accident that you have posted like this


2nd one. What's your point? It happens every year. I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is on how many bikers will get injured or killed during this years bike week. I also said in another article that it doesn't matter how safe the rider is, you can't control others on the road. It's a chance we take. I'm hoping there aren't more, but put this many bikers in this area with all the local and CP traffic and you get what you get. I don't ride during this week. I want to live to see my grandkids. Go argue with someone else


Then comment like you did just now. Your other posts were insensitive to a degree.


Might be insensitive, but maybe my insensitivity will make someone look twice, listen, not drink and ride, not drink and drive, etc. Facts are facts. Take in account everything I said and throw alcohol into the mix and this is what you get. In other words. THINK PEOPLE! Four wheelers and two wheelers ALL need to be careful this weekend! Maybe I will get through to at least one person and save a life with my insensitivity!


There are way more accidents that happen outside of bike week. Not sure if you knew that.


Show me a week around here that has this many accidents that involve bikes.


taxi: $6.00 anywhere in the city. (419) 625-7955 for crusin city.... I know there are others.... come on people! pick your car up in the morning and save $1000+ and jail for a dui

Darwin's choice

6/6/1944....Never forget! D-Day....!

VTX Rider

Wishing a speedy recovery for the biker. There is absolutely no excuse for leaving the scene of an accident. None!!


What if the driver had severely explosive bleeding diarhea?

What if the driver had an explosive strapped to their chest by a terrorist and had to be at a certain destination within minutes?

What if the driver was delivering an organ for transplant that would only be viable for the 5 minutes they were away from the hospital?

See? Lesson is that one must be cautious about using absolutes in statements, especially words like "all" or "none"


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.


well its either that or the smell of the back of a cop car and jail cell :)


Bring your own lil bag of potpourri to sniff on the way home.
Its better than killing someone or an OWI.


Bike week should be a fun time. However, it seems that the only way some people can have fun is to get falling down drunk. To bad. I hope this man recovers fully from his injuries.


This is getting ridiculous!! And I agree with some that not only should the bar be held accountable if they continued to serve Merlo after she was already drunk but even her friend if they knew she was drunk and let her have the keys. Friends don't let friends drive drunk!! I know that as adults we need to be responsible for ourselves but when a person is drunk they loose their ability to be responsible for themselves, just like a child and someone should have been a designated driver. Now another person has been injured - and guess what folks, I'm a bike week hater but more importantly I'm a drunk driver hater!! Really hope that this guy is ok.