Man killed in Friday motorcycle crash

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, November 3, 2012

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A collision between a motorcycle and a pickup on Farm Road 718 killed a Newark man early Friday afternoon.

FATAL TURN – Leonard Placker Jr., 66, of Newark was killed just north of town on Farm Road 718 when a pickup driven by Tracy L. Walker, 52, accidentally struck the motorcyclist. Walker was turning onto Green Oak Road to go home and didn’t see the oncoming motorcycle. Placker was killed instantly by the impact. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Leonard Placker Jr., 66, died instantly when a pickup truck ran into his motorcycle at the intersection of Farm Road 718 and Green Oak Road just north of Newark.

The southbound pickup, driven by Tracy L. Walker, 52, of Newark took a left turn onto Green Oak Road off FM 718 and hit the northbound motorcycle head-on. Placker, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays.

Walker, while uninjured, was visibly shaken after the accident.

“I was just going home,” Walker said, eyes reddened. “I was about to turn onto my road. I didn’t see him. It’s like he fell out of the sky.”

Nearby resident John Crane heard the impact while working in his barn several hundred yards from the scene of the wreck.

“It was a heck of a boom,” Crane said. “I ran out and saw the pickup. I didn’t know what it had hit. I didn’t see the motorcycle at first. I just called 911.”

State Trooper Zeb Siebeneck said no charges have been filed in the case, but it is still under investigation.

“According to (Walker) he just ‘plain didn’t see him,'” Siebeneck said.

The front of Walker’s pickup collided directly into the side of the motorcyle, leaving it shattered by the roadway. FM 718 was shut down in both directions for more than an hour.

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