(Harrisburg) – A gubernatorial candidate driving on the Pennsylvania toll highway was swept by a motorcyclist in an overnight crash in July that left the motorcyclist dead and the candidate traveled an additional 5 miles with the motorcycle lodged in his car, according to a new police report.
Pennsylvania State Police have said little publicly about the July 21 crash just before 10 p.m. in an unlit stretch of the highway involving Charlie Gerow, the Republican candidate, and motorcyclist Logan Abbott.
In the nine-page police report, a state police investigator wrote that he could see markings on the driver’s side of Gerow’s Mercedes sedan “which corresponded to a side slip” by the motorcycle.
The massive, debris-strewn crash on the westbound lanes of Chester County, just west of the King of Prussia interchange, forced the highway to close for seven hours, police said.
Gerow’s lawyer already said Gerow didn’t hit the motorcyclist, only the motorcycle. Gerow was not charged in the accident.
A state police spokesperson said the investigation “remains active and ongoing.”
“Once completed, the district attorney will be consulted in order to make a decision on whether to prosecute,” said police spokeswoman Grace Griffaton.
The accident report was obtained by The Associated Press on Friday. It was marked as approved by a supervisor on Tuesday and state police confirmed the authenticity of the report.
The report does not include details of police interviews with Gerow or a witness traveling in a separate vehicle. But he describes an accident scene spanning nearly half a mile.
After Abbott fell off his motorbike and onto Gerow’s car, the motorbike drove past Gerow’s car, which hit it, according to the report.
The motorcycle “lodged on the front cowl and undercarriage” of Gerow’s car in an upright position, and Gerow continued to roll west for about 5 miles before being stopped by a soldier. state, according to the report.
Blood stains on the pavement indicate that Abbott was run over by other vehicles, according to the report. Abbott, 30, of Wysox, tested negative for drugs and alcohol, he said. Gerow also tested negative, according to a report he provided.
Gerow was not injured and no airbag was deployed.
A spokesperson for Gerow said Gerow believed his car was hit by a deer or debris from an afternoon storm and that he did not see the motorcycle on his car while he was driving.
Gerow had prepared to go out in the next well-lit area, but was first stopped by a state soldier sitting in a construction area, spokesman Kevin Harley said.
A highway construction worker told Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer that he saw a Mercedes pass by with a big motorcycle stuck in its grille, making a loud noise and making sparks fly.
Gerow said he was driving safely and legally, and was not distracted by a cell phone or while impaired.
Gerow was returning from a political fundraiser in suburban Philadelphia, and the organizer told The Associated Press she had never seen him drink and appeared sober when he left.
Gerow, 66, runs a communications and marketing company in Harrisburg with offices two blocks from the State Capitol, where he is a familiar face.
The gubernatorial candidacy is Gerow’s first statewide campaign after running unsuccessfully for Congress and the state legislature in the past.