State inspector killed in I-75 crash; patrol ‘grateful for her service and sacrifice’

A highway patrol inspector died on duty early Wednesday when a pickup truck driver struck her state vehicle on Interstate 75 in Miami County.

Kimra J. Skelton, a 49-year-old mother of two, was parked in an Ohio State Highway Patrol sport utility vehicle when the Motor Carrier Enforcement inspector was struck and killed. The crash happened about 6:45 a.m. on I-75 in a traffic crossover in Troy.

“There are no words that can express our grief over the loss of Kimra,” said Col. Richard Fambro of the patrol, adding that the crash remains under investigation. “We are forever grateful for her service and sacrifice.”

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Christopher G. Coorough, 44, of Kettering, drove a 2017 Ford F-250 northbound, went off the left side of the road and struck Skelton’s SUV, according to the patrol.

Coorough sustained minor injuries and was later transported to Kettering Medical Center in Troy.

Skelton had been a member of the patrol since October 2005. The Arcanum resident is survived by her husband and two children.

The Motor Carrier Enforcement unit was created in 2006 and its responsibilities include commercial motor vehicle transportation safety, economic and hazardous materials requirements.

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A 911 caller who identified himself as an ODOT employee frantically told the dispatcher that he was beside the injured inspector after the tragic accident.

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“There is an officer hit at the end of the wall,” adding that “ODOT is actually here right now. We got debris everywhere.”

He said that he believed the woman had died and said she was hit by another vehicle.

“The officer is not in the vehicle and is on the ground,” noting that she was not breathing. “It is a Motor Carrier Enforcement officer — 46770 is the vehicle number.”

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The accident shut down I-75 for hours.

Other 911 calls to dispatch indicated that the accident was severe.

“There was a pretty bad accident just north of the Troy exit – the main exit. There’s a guy and he’s got his airbag completely deployed … It is really bad,” the caller told dispatch.

Another caller said he was reporting an accident from, “where the State Highway Patrol always sits.”

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“You need to send EMS now, it’s bad,” the caller stated. “You are going to have a pile up, it is bad. You can smell something burning.”

One caller added, “TIt’s windy and raining and dark out, and all I seen was something white fly up in the air and I was in the left-hand lane coming southbound and all of the sudden it comes down on my lane but there’s a mangled mess all over the place. There was a construction guy in the right-hand lane and he did a U-turn and went back to the accident.”

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