UPDATE: Names Released in Fatal Accident

by Kelly Choate on February 20, 2012 at 6:06 am

One person is dead after an accident near the Muskingum County Speedway on Monday afternoon.

It happened around 1 p.m. just north of McGlade School Road on State Route 60.  Sergeant Chuck Merryman said the State Highway Patrol and Falls Township Fire Department responded to the call.  He said a motorcycle and a pick-up truck hauling a trailer were traveling northbound.

"The pick-up slowed down to make a left-hand turn into a private drive, and as he proceeded to turn, the motorcycle was passing at the same time," said Merryman.  "When he made that left turn, that’s when contact was made."

Merryman said a passenger on the motorcycle, 20-year-old Luka Smith of Zanesville, was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver, 20-year-old Zachary Tigner of Zanesville, was flown to OSU Medical Center with serious injuries.  Both people were likely not wearing helmets.  The driver of the pick-up is identified as 43-year-old Mark Neal of Zanesville, and two juvenile passengers were in the truck.  Merryman advises drivers to share the road with motorcyclists and take appropriate precautions.

"Drive defensively, especially now that we’re getting into spring, there are more motorcycles on the road, so just keep that in mind and be careful," said Merryman.

Traffic was shut down for hours as crews worked to clear the scene.  The accident remains under investigation.