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Another Road Fatality as Hurt Motorcyclist Flagging Help on CR302 Is Struck and Killed

| December 11, 2011

The Ford Explorer that hit the motorcyclist as he was standing in the road, looking for help. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 10:38 p.m.

The latest road fatality in Flagler County, the seventh in four weeks, appears to have been the result of a tragic set of circumstances in the pitch darkness of County Road 302 on a rainy night.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol at the scene, Gary Skelton, 67, a motorcyclist from western Bunnell on his Harley Davidson crashed on CR302, less than a mile east from County Road 305. He had lost control and partly traveled on the shoulder of the road. No other vehicle was involved in that initial crash.

At that point Skelton may have been hurt, but not so severely that he couldn’t stand up. He appeared to have been seeking help by the roadside. That stretch of road is unlit and dark even on cloudless nights. Tonight, with the low cloud cover, the darkness is entirely enveloping absent any light.

A Ford Expedition traveling East saw the motorcyclist on the road, likely at the last moment, and swerved to the right to avoid him.

Wayne Davis, 69, and Jeanette Davis, 62, both of Bunnell, were traveling in their Ford Explorer west at about the same time. Wayne was at the wheel. He did not see Skelton. The Explorer’s driver-side front struck him, throwing him into a ditch several yards down from the motorcycle and killing him.

The two crashes took place just after 6:40 p.m. Sunday.

The Florida Highway Patrol, Flagler County Sheriff’s units and Flagler County Fire Rescue are at the scene, as are the two Ford SUVs. The crash investigation at the scene was ongoing late into the evening. County Road 302 was closed past County Road 75 all the way to County Road 302, and remained closed for several hours. It continues to rain on and off at the scene, as it has since afternoon.

The medical examiner, who is required to examine the body and claim it for an autopsy as part of the homicide investigation, was been notified and arrived just before 9 p.m. The Medical examiner usually comes in from Volusia or St. Johns. The Florida Highway Patrol is combing the stretch of road for evidence and clues.

Saxon’s towing hauled off the Explorer at 10:35 p.m. CR302 was to re-open just after 11 p.m.

The debris field, including personal effects, was extensive on the county road. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

The Harley, where it came to rest on the road's shoulder. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Cl;ick on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

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56 Responses for “Another Road Fatality as Hurt Motorcyclist Flagging Help on CR302 Is Struck and Killed”

  1. Jennifer D Van Cleve via Facebook says:

    Is this the same road Kurt Smith was killed on?

  2. No, Kurt was killed in Palm Coast on Seminole Woods Blvd.

  3. Kendall Clark-StJacques via Facebook says:

    What a heartbreaking story. I’m so sorry for the driver and the family of the victim.

  4. Jennifer D Van Cleve via Facebook says:

    Thank you!!!! Tragic for all

  5. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    We are going to have to light up some roads around here or have a much higher death toll. If other communities have street lights, what’s the problem here?

    • The Geode says:

      Are you willing to pay for lights to shine on every stretch of road in the County? I think not. Sometimes things happen without rhyme or reason.

      • Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

        I’d be willing to pay when and where there are fatalities. No need to put them everywhere.

        Other communities have street lights, Geode. Why not this one?

        • JS says:

          The problem is once again funding!!!!! Every body wants tax cuts but no body wants to do with out services!!!! Well we can not have our cake and eat it too!!!! Some thing has to give raise taxes and put things in like sidewalks and street light our dont raise taxes and go with out what should be simple services…. So while the tax payers are screaming and pointing figures just keep in mind We the VOTERS did this!!!!!!

        • Ben Dover says:

          You kidding , this cheap place won`t even put up Christmas lights, they got them stupid flags on palm coast parkway you can`t even see at night. At least when ITT was here they lit up the trees along the parkway

      • jen says:

        well yes i would be willing to have to pay some tax in order to have lights on some of the roads, if the roads had some sort of lights then maybe this poor man would still be here.

      • Anonymous says:

        at least they can redo the road and put some eflectors
        down the middle of it

    • JS says:

      The problem here is people not wanting to spend money!!!!! let cut goverment spending some more!!!!! Real smart….

  6. Nanci Whitley says:

    These are rural roads….you can’t light them all.

  7. Unbelievable. Seems like its not safe to walk or ride anywhere in this town!

  8. Binkey says:

    Very dark out there. I hit a limousine stud bull on that road in 95 or 96. Never saw it, until I hit it.

  9. kyrela says:

    whether it’s royal or not, have SOME lights would keep people alive. That’s the problem with this county they don’t think bunnell deserves to have the same things as Palm Coast, the county needs to be sued because its rediculous. Us that live out here pay taxes, so we should be able to feel safe just like anywhere else.

    • JS says:

      You people are funny the county… But you all live in a city.. Bunnell, Palm Coast, or the city of Flagler Beach. if you want lights go to your city manager and have him fight to get them that is what he or she is for. Oh yeah thats right goverment cut backs no spending tax roll back no money gotta love it!!!!!!

      • star11 says:

        You people??? I’m not even gonna ask what that is suppose to mean. Apparently u are not one of us people that live in this so called city. West Bunnell may have been zoned part of the city of Bunnell but we do not receive the benefits that the city does. We have very few street lights, no sidewalks and our road ways are in serious need of repair, and it seems we are always last on the list to receive. As far as talking to our city manager, you really think someone hasn’t tried???

        • kass12 says:

          Well those who live in the city limits actually pay more in taxes, twice as much. Thats why they have more amenities than those who live in the country.

        • JS says:

          Yes I do live on the west side. As for the city manager if he is unwilling to hear you out them maybe it is time for change…

      • Michelle says:

        302 is county maintained, not by the city of Bunnell. Not every piece of land in the county is in a city. Where our family land is, is not in city limits.

  10. Jamie says:

    So sad! My prayers go out to family & friends. I have to say – not all roads can be lit up – but I think that CR 302 should be an exception. The population surrounding that rd has grown extensively over these past few yrs. It is a dangerous rd………needs leveling & proper drainage in some areas, it holds water when it rains……..its very dark, too dark for the amount of cars that take that rd………also needs a guard rail along the steep wide ditch that runs along the rd for almost a mile. This is the 3rd fatel accident that I have driven up on in this last 4 wks with in SR100 & CR 302. May God provide stregnth to all the families & friends who have had loved ones involved in vehicle accidents.

    • Ralph Belcher says:

      I thought I heard from the County that CR 302 was in line for widening funding or is coming up very soon on the work list for such projects. We’ll have to ask Commissioner Nate McLaughlin or the Engineering Department about what thought I heard. It’s pavement in many places is uneven enough as it is for cars, so I can only imagine what it is for choppers.

  11. Bob says:

    CR 302 is a very dangerous road. It does need lighting, maybe solar powered light poles would work.
    I believe all of CR302 is now part of the City of Bunnell?

    Daytona North in the last few years has really gone downhill with their roads and swalls, maybe the residents of Daytona North should consider to incorporate? They then would be able to receive federal funds , right now Flagler County is raping the funds collected from the frontage fee every resident pays for new roads, They have been taking money from the fund and refuse to supply an accounting as to were the money is going to.

  12. Jim K says:

    My wife and I were driving the expedition, The man hit was flagging us down for help, as we slowed down to turn around to help him the explorer had passed in front of us and struck him. A horrible experience . we just got home. We wont sleep tonight! Cant get the image out of our heads If only we were a few seconds sooner to turn around!

    • Rose says:

      My heart goes out to the family of the gentleman who lost his life but it also goes out to you and your wife and the folks that accidentally hit him. What a horrible experience you all have gone thru and unfortunately will continue to go thru for a time. I pray for all concerned. As far as you blaming yourself, it was not your fault and I am sure you did your turn around in as safe a manner as you could. Focus on healing and forgiving yourself. It was not your fault. It was an unfortunate accident

    • Neighbors says:

      Thank you for being concerned enough to turn around and want to help. There are so few who would have. Thank you for taking time to meet his wife and console her. Garry’s memorial service will be Friday 12/23/11 at the White Eagle beginning at noon.

  13. Neighbors says:

    Sending prayers to his wife Patricia and brother Harold. May God watch over them.

  14. Devrie says:

    I know this is a rural area, and I’m not trying to argue for more tax dollars or anything, but this road is a main road. It’s a paved road that often times is full of trucks.

  15. Dan says:

    That road is dangerous even in a car or truck at night. I use this road daily. On a bike and in a pick up. It’s one of the few roads that scare me on a bike. The road marking are old and hard to see. The road is barely wide enough for two vehicles. Lights I don’t think is the answer. Road widening and markings we can see would help more.

    Prayers for all involved and the family of the rider. The SUV drivers are probably having a hard time with this as well.
    People want changes but have to be willing to pay the cost. Not many are willing to pay for change. Instead they expect them for free. Not logical

    There is a street light on our road, but only at the corner of 302. It’s the only way I can see the road some times at night!

  16. The Truth says:

    Look everyone, these are called accidents for a reason. It’s a sad situation and I feel sorry for the person who lost his life and his family. I don’t, however, blame our local government for every accident that occurs. It seems everyone is constantly pointing a finger at something that has to be at fault. It’s an accident, plain and simple.

    Could we use more lighting on our roads? Sure. These are also rural roads so don’t expect that. Lighting costs money, money comes from taxes and I’m sure those residents out there would not appreciate their taxes going up either.

    Could we use sidewalks on every street? Sure. Again, sidewalks cost money and I have seen a vast improvement in sidewalks in Palm Coast. I have seen numerous sidewalks going up all around. This doesn’t happen over night. When walking on a road without sidewalks, I would suggest using EXTREME caution or avoid it all together.

    Again, I’m not saying that we don’t need these things, but lets be realistic here. We are in a very difficult time, money is tight and we can’t just go spending because of every accident. I feel sorry for the family and the victim. RIP

    • JS says:

      About time some one speaks the truth instead of wanting to blame someone!!!!! Great job!! it is well spoken maybe one day these people will get a clue!!!!!

  17. elaygee says:

    Everyone drives too fast on poorly lit, poorly marked roads giving them no time to react to anything they encounter. Slow down.

  18. wsh302@msn.com says:

    Truth, well said , agree 100%

  19. Concerned Koronaian says:

    Our hearts and prayers goes out to the family and everyone that was there at the time of the accident. May God watch over and give them peace in their time of sorrow and healing.

  20. Mw says:

    I use that road every day. I go to work before daylight and sometimes drive home in the dark. I don’t know if speed was a factor, but it is very easy to hydroplane during storms even going slow. I think the posted speed in that area is 45. People pass me on that road doing 60 mph at times. If you look close there are deer every where so I drive slow. Maybe the cops should park at the bend where the fishing hole is and not in the hardware store parking lot or the Country store. That would slow people down on 302.

    • kass12 says:

      I defintely agree with you Mw. This is an terrible tragedy and I am not blaming the driver. But everytime I am on that road I do 45 and everyone is passing me doing 60 or more even when there is another car coming the other way. People need to stop driving recklessly. Perhaps some cops should set up a speeding trap there. speed limits are there for a reason!

  21. Outsider says:

    While I’ve recently moved from that area, I have noticed that the striping on the road is worn out. When you’re driving at night and someone is coming at you, stripes help you maintain your lane. We can’t light up every foot of every road in the county, but re-striping 302 and 305 in particular would be an inexpensive way to make the roads a little safer. And my thoughts and prayers go to the family of this man.

    • resident says:

      People live in the country to get away from the lights of the city. If you read what the other driver wrote the explorer past him. Most of the accidents in Flagler County could be avoided or not as dangerous if drivers would slow down. Between alcohol and speed being the factors in most accidents. My thoughts go out to all families involved. People need to slow down it isn’t going to matter how many street lights there are look at some of the fatalities have been in broad day light. The jogger in Seminole Woods if your going to get onto your kids pull over. Yes I have kids and that is what I do. It was middle of the day your answer to that is side walks. Bottom line slow down

    • Anonymous says:

      The idea of painting a white stripe (fog line) on the edge of the pavement and an appropriate line in the center of the roadway is an excellent one! My experience with that road (cr302) is early morning darkness and afternoon daylight. I ALWAYS decide on my route depending on the time of day AND the weather conditions/density of traffic.
      MANY times a week I take 305 to 100–or reverse. It takes a couple of minutes longer, yes, BUT I think it is SO much safer.
      We cannot simply blame the county-blame the lack of lighting-blame(fill in the blank).
      I feel sincerely sad for the people affected by the conditions of some of the roadways here. :(
      There is no magical *fix*. That is sad enough in itself, but the blame for these type of so-called *accidents* rests squarely upon OUR OWN shoulders. And to the person driving that reddish colored little car with the Florida State University tag and the fog lights-we’re going to be reading about YOU on this site one of these days. Heed my words! You HAVE to be somehow involved with the law enforcement of our area to drive with the impunity that you display. Karma. Sooner? Later? You choose.
      I offer my heartfelt hugs to the family of this latest victim in Flagler County. So sad!
      Dave

    • Justin says:

      People are passing because it is not 45 mph. Yellow speed signs with posted mph is a caution speed. Usually 10 mph less than the speed limit. The limit on an unmarked road like that is 55 mph. I think every road should be posted no matter what.
      I feel bad for both sides tonight. The accidents that have been happening here in Flagler are becoming unbearable!
      I pray for each person involved.

  22. John C says:

    if your over 65….dont drive at nite or in the rain…safe a life!

  23. hammer says:

    hey Garry was my bro had survided a bad bike accident 3 years ago just too be kilded by a idiot going to fast look at the truck dammage on the pic.

  24. There is a difference between an “accident” and “negligence.” The former occurs when the loss or death is not reasonably foreseeable, or reasonably predictable. When we were little kids our moms taught us not to run with sharp objects, play with fire, look both ways before we crossed the street, not to play with strange dogs, etc. She did not know it, but she was teaching us the basics of foreseeability so we would be able as we got to be older, to take care of ourselves, and avoid hurting others.
    Is it reasonably foreseeable that a motorcycle might break down on a dark country road, and the owner will have to walk miles in the dark, and in so doing be hit by an oncoming car? Maybe, maybe not…That is the kind of question a jury answers. So, there is a difference between an accident, which is not foreseeable, and negligence which is foreseeable.

  25. Just Me says:

    My sympathy goes out to the family of Gary Shelton but can anyone tell me if this is the Gary Shelton of Shelton’s Vet Clinic?

  26. Some guy says:

    Copy from Phil C. (Is it reasonably foreseeable that a motorcycle might break down on a dark country road, and the owner will have to walk miles in the dark, and in so doing be hit by an oncoming car? Maybe, maybe not…That is the kind of question a jury answers. So, there is a difference between an accident, which is not foreseeable, and negligence which is foreseeable.)

    My question is who was the negligence thing directed to?? From the photo the man was hit on the driver side so that would put the man in the MIDDLE of the road. Yes we all must watch out when driveing BUT walkes and bike riders must due the same and follow the rules of the road also.

  27. Don says:

    If the people who live in western Flagler and Mondex and want lighting and paved roads like we have in palm coast you have too be willing to pay higher taxes.

  28. Read says:

    It’s Skelton, not Shelton. And no, it’s not the same person.

  29. Outsider says:

    Don, I lived in that area for two years and currently live a little closer to Bunnell. I lived in Palm Coast for 15 years and left to get away from everyone that wants to turn night into day with street lights. It’s not really an issue of paying more taxes, it’s a lifestyle issue. I think people who live in the country accept, and in my case desire darkness in the night time and sunlight during the day. If one is unwilling or unable to drive on dark country roads, then they should not do so. Again, a relatively inexpensive way to improve the safety on these particular roads would be to re-stripe them with new reflective paint, as the markings are worn out and virtually invisible at night when drivers need them the most.

  30. PJ says:

    M yheartfelt condolences to Mr. Skelton and family. My prayers to the driver and those in the car.

    As it stands it does not matter who ownes this road Bunnell or County and as far as I see it it is county. We must all slow down. we all drive too fast. SUV, cars, motorcycles and big trucks drive like the daytona 500 around here.

    Rednecks, New Yorkers, Old folks and Palm coasters!!!!!!! And anyone else i forgot to mention!!!!

    SLOW DOWN get contol of the vehicle!

    It’s simple and if you want to know if you have contol of your vehicle. Try this simple test on a dry straight road with good tires, good brakes and a seatbelt on.

    Get up to legal speed limit for about 10 seconds and with no one behind you step on the brake. If you feel as though you are on ice or a delay in you braking your vehicle is not under your control.

    It is controlling you.

    Slow down …………….and this type of senseless incident may happen less often….

    Oh yea one more thing putting lights on turns or road that turn off or on on a county road is worth funding by tax money.

    • Anonymous says:

      They say they don’t have funds for lights or sidewalks,but can plant trees and PAY THE CITY MANAGER OVER $200,000 A YEAR, when the governor only makes about $130,000.

      • sandra says:

        i too have lived in that area, and most of my family still does. to Gary’s family, i am deeply sorry for your loss. to everyone that wonders why there are no street lights out there…. how much money do you think it cost to keep the lights on in the justice center there in town , when they are closed and who’s footing that bill….i mean just wondering….

  31. palmcoaster says:

    Excellent PJ!

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