Jerry Jackson of Lodi with his omnipresent hat and cane.
PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge
The Jackson family of Chatham Township is living its worst nightmare.
Their beloved son, uncle and a friend to many was injured in a crash Saturday morning in Wayne County, and he’s been on a ventilator since.
But the family is hoping to turn the tragedy into a selfless act.
Jerry Jackson, 37, of Lodi, was one of four people involved in a two-vehicle crash that morning at state Route 604 and Miller Road in Milton Township.
“Jerry was still seat-belted, but half hanging out of the car,” his mother, Tammie Jackson, said. “He was totally blue … everyone was unconscious when paramedics arrived on scene.”
He was taken to Akron City Hospital with life-threatening injuries, and, on Monday, Tammie Jackson said her son was brain dead. She said her son is being kept alive on a ventilator while the hospital arranges recipients for his organs.
“He would want to save as many people as possible,” she said. “Jerry was just that way.
“He could be a perfect disciple with his cane and hat,” she continued, describing her son’s daily attire. “Whether they were rich or poor, he would share and try to help them.”
The crash occurred at 9:14 a.m. when a 2006 International straight truck carrying grain driven by James Steiner, 51, of Sterling, west on Route 604, failed to stop at a stop sign and struck the left rear of a 2006 Kia Sorrento southbound on Miller road, according to Sgt. Todd Roberts of the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Wooster post.
Roberts said the driver of the Kia, Matthew Emrick, 26, of Lodi, attempted to swerve to avoid the crash but was struck by the truck, which caused the Kia to spin around, hit a utility pole and overturn before coming to rest on the south side of Route 604.
The collision caused power lines to go down, leaving 20 to 100 customers without power for a time, the Wooster Daily Record reported.
Emrick, and front passenger Brianna Carter, 26, also of Lodi, were taken to Akron General Hospital with moderate injuries, Robert said. They were not listed in the hospital’s database Monday, a spokesman said.
Rear passenger Dorothy Senz, 44, of West Salem, was ejected 15 feet from the vehicle, the sergeant said. She was flown from the crash scene to Akron City Hospital. Her condition was unknown Monday.
Roberts said the occupants were wearing seat belts, except for Senz and Steiner.
Steiner was self-employed and carrying feed to his farm, Roberts said. Roberts said alcohol and drugs are not suspected factors in the crash.
Charges are pending against Steiner following review by the Wayne County prosecutor’s office, Roberts said.
Tammie Jackson said the group was heading to the Yankee Peddler Festival at Clay’s Park Resort in Canal Fulton, where they were going to work for the day.
Jerry Jackson was dressed in his hat and had his cane with him.
“He was my dorky little son,” she said.
Tammie Jackson said her son loved music, movies, trivia and playing the Magic card game.
“He would volunteer at the Lodi Family Center once a week and play games with kids,” she said.
Tammie Jackson said his life was composed of his friends, nieces and nephews.
“The only reason why he stayed in the area was for the kids,” Tammie Jackson said about her four grandchildren. “He said, ‘They need me as an uncle.’ ”
Jerry Jackson was an uncle to Jacqalynn Wallace, 16; Jasmine Wallace, 13; Matthew Wallace, 11; and Danny Wallace, 10.
“(Sunday) night we brought the kids in to say goodbye and explained to them that he is brain dead,” Tammie Jackson said. “Danny went on his Uncle Jerry’s right side, laid his head on his lap and said ‘Uncle Jerry I love you so much. I want to thank you for teaching me how to (play) games and thanks for always being there for me. I’ll be with you again someday.’
“He cried a horrible cry,” Tammie Jackson continued. “It was so heart-wrenching.
“Matt laid Magic cards (on the hospital bed) to build Uncle Jerry’s powers up.”
While funeral arrangements are still being made, Tammie Jackson said the family requests monetary donations for the Wallace siblings in lieu of flowers.
“His life was his nieces and nephews,” she said.
Jerry Jackson, a 1998 graduate of Highland High School, also is survived by his father, Mike Jackson.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.