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Driver charged after motorcyclist killed in central Columbia crash

Skylar Maddox


A woman told police she was taking methadone and Valium when she failed to yield for a motorcycle in central Columbia, killing its rider, according to court documents.

Susan Hanel, 72, was charged Wednesday with DWI causing a death, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and armed criminal action for a crash Tuesday in central Columbia. She was in the Boone County Jail on Wednesday without bond.

The crash killed Skylar Maddox, 25, of Columbia, police said in a news release.

The crash happened when Hanel failed to yield and made a left turn in front of Maddox's motorcycle at Providence and East Sexton roads at about 5:15 p.m., police said. Maddox couldn't avoid Hanel's Hyundai Sonata and hit the rear passenger side. He was thrown from the motorcycle and was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.

Hanel left the scene, driving down East Sexton Road, the release says.

Another vehicle hit Maddox's motorcycle after the initial collision but avoided hitting Maddox himself.

Police said Maddox was wearing a helmet.

A witness told police that Hanel did not have on any headlights, according to a probable cause statement. The witness said that she saw Hanel continue to drive away without headlights, the statement says.

Police say in court documents that Hanel was unsteady on her feet when they found her at her home. During a field sobriety test given to Hanel, police report Hanel couldn't keep her head up, that she was falling over and that she showed other signs of impairment.

A person who said he was Hanel roommate and had been living with her for about two years said her mind comes and go. "Her mind go and comes. Wonders off, making stuff up. Get lost in the house and can't find nothing," said Randy Hough.

Hanel was in the Boone County Jail on Wednesday without bond. No attorney was listed for her in online court records.

Hanel's license expired in 2011, according to the probable cause statement.

Gilbane Motorsports Motorcycle Shop says Maddox has been working at the shop for about 8 months to learn more about fixing motorcycles.

One person who said he was best friends with Maddox said Maddox was on his way home at the time of the crash.
Maddox's friends added they are sad to hear about what happened to their friend.

A Gofundme account has been set up for Maddox. Donations can be made by clicking here.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!

Karl Wehmhoener


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