Thank you for contacting The Daily & Sunday Jeffersonian. We offer our condolences on the death of your friends. Following is the article which appeared in our newspaper on July 19, 2002.
The Daily Jeffersonian
By all accounts, it was a wreck like out of the movies.
Unfortunately, the lives lost were real.
Two men were killed Thursday afternoon when their motorcycles were struck by a passenger car in a bizarre four-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 between Cambridge and New Concord.
George E. Horner, 48, of Lancaster, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Nicholas Uva, 38, a policeman from Pittsburgh, Pa., was pronounced dead at Southeastern Med, where he was taken following the 1:50 p.m. crash.
The driver of the car, identified as Ibrahima Kane, 29, of Columbus, was treated for minor abrasions at Southeastern Med and released. He was taken to the hospital by United Ambulance.
The driver of the fourth vehicle, a tractor-trailer, was Tommy W. Shrader, 42, of Trenton, Fla. He was not injured in the accident.
A third motorcyclist, Larry Batdorf, of Canton, was riding with Horner and Uva after meeting up with the two men earlier on the highway. He was not involved in the accident, but saw the carnage unfold before his eyes.
"I have seen a lot of things in my life, but this was the worst," said a shaken Batdorf. "I was just riding along with these guys after meeting them on the road, but I didnít know them. I just canít believe what happened."
A skid mark left on the roadway by Batdorfís motorcycle was evidence that he narrowly avoided the crash, stopping less than 15 feet from the wreckage of the car and Hornerís Harley-Davidson.
The Harley operated by Uva came to rest off the left side of the eastbound lane several yards past the impact site, where the other vehicles came to rest.
As traffic backed up on the interstate, a second accident occurred less than a mile west of the initial crash site. It involved a tractor-trailer and Chevrolet S-10 pickup. Neither driver was seriously hurt in that accident, though damage was heavy.
The eastbound lanes of I-70 were closed to traffic for more than 90 minutes, until traffic could be routed through the eastbound truck weigh scales. Both eastbound lanes were re-opened to traffic at 6:26 p.m.
According to the Cambridge post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the accidents started when the Chrysler rental car driven by Kane and the tractor-trailer driven by Shrader collided while westbound on I-70.
Following that impact, Kaneís vehicle went off the left side of the road and into the elevated median, where it became airborne before landing nose-first next to the eastbound lanes of I-70.
The Kane vehicle then overturned and landed on top of Horner and his motorcycle, which came to rest under the rear of the heavily damaged car.
"The first guy (Horner) didnít have a chance," said Batdorf, the witness.
Another eyewitness at the scene, as well as skid mark evidence, indicated Uva possibly crashed his motorcycle in an attempt to avoid the car.
Several marks in the asphalt indicated the motorcycle skidded along the road, ejecting Uva.
Reports indicated Uva may have struck the vehicle when he was ejected from the motorcycle. Both Uva and Horner suffered serious blunt trauma to their heads, necks and chests.
Neither man was reportedly wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, although what was believed to be a helmet was seen strapped to the rear of Hornerís motorcycle.
Kane was removed from the wrecked Chrysler by Cambridge firefighters, New Concord firefighters and United Ambulance personnel.
A Map Quest map from the Internet, which was found at the scene, indicated Kane was traveling from New York to Columbus, specifically 4611 Refugee Road.
Several framed photos and apparent gifts from the motorcycles were strewn about the interstate. Other personal items, including a bed roll and additional clothing, indicated the men may have been away from home for several days.
According to a sergeant at the Cambridge patrol post, charges were pending against Kane, driver of the car.
An engine and rescue truck and five firefighters from the Cambridge Fire Department responded to the scene, along with approximately 10 firefighters and four trucks from the New Concord Volunteer Fire Department.
Highway patrol troopers from the Cambridge and Marietta posts assisted with the accident investigation and traffic control, which included routing traffic around the second crash site.
The second accident, which occurred at 2:02 p.m., was handled by troopers from the patrolís Zanesville post.
According to a report, a tractor-trailer operated by Semso Karic, 27, St. Louis, Mo., and a 1992 Chevrolet S-10 operated by David S. Hill, 19, Richwood, were eastbound on I-70 when the Hill vehicle struck the rear of the Karic vehicle as it slowed in traffic.
Damage to the cab and hood of the S-10 was extensive, but Hill was reportedly not trapped inside the truck. He was transported to Genesis-Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville, where he was treated in the emergency department and released. Karic was not injured.
Hill was cited for failure to maintain assured clear distance ahead and a seat belt violation.
Ohio Department of Transportation and Guernsey County Sheriffís Office personnel also assisted with traffic control as some of the traffic was routed onto Route 83 and around the crash sites through the Village of New Concord and onto U.S. 22/40 back to I-70.
Representatives from the Guernsey County coronerís and prosecutorís offices responded to the scene of the initial accident, which remained under investigation by the Cambridge post of the state patrol.