Fellow runner remembers victim of hit and run crash

Dec 1, 2017

Jill Skivington Jackett (center) with fellow runners (L to R) Jim Marchetti, Kraig Connor, David Monk, Jason (JMac) McElwain, at the Oak Tree Half Marathon last summer.
Credit Kraig Connor

A Rochester woman who was killed in a hit and run crash near the University of Rochester this week was an avid runner.

38-year old Jill Skivington Jackett had plans to meet Kraig Connor, a fellow member of the local running club Bagel Bunch, near Genesee Valley Park Thursday for an early morning run.

"And he parked behind her car and she didn't come back, didn't come back,” said Russ Herman of Hilton, another runner with the group. “He was getting mad because he thought she blew him off, which wasn't like her. Then he started to get worried and started running around and looking. I think he started driving around and then found the accident scene."

Jill had been hit by a dark-colored vehicle as she tried to cross Elmwood Avenue just before 6 a.m. Police say the car never stopped. There have been no arrests in the case as of early Friday afternoon.

Herman, who enjoyed running with Jill and considered her a friend, said she was an intense, competitive runner.

"She loved running with the boys because they were a little more competitive than some of the women that were there. She pushed us and kicked our butts on a lot of runs. We oftentimes would say, ‘Damn it, Jill, you're running too fast,’ and she would complain that we were pushing her, so we always had a great time."

Herman said the tragedy of Skivington Jackett's death is compounded by the fact that the driver involved in the crash has not come forward.

"That person certainly knows,” he said. “There are probably many people around him who know. You're not going to be able to hide that (car) damage. It may have been purely an accident but that person needs to come forward and take responsibility."

Rochester Police have not said whether the driver was a man or a woman. They are asking anyone who has information to call 911.

Skivington Jackett was an English teacher at Wheatland-Chili High School. She was also a cross country coach and directed school musicals.  A district spokesperson  said counselors were on hand today to help faculty, staff and students with their grief.

Herman said Jill would have been both amused and insulted by news reports that referred to her as a jogger.

"She was a runner. She ran like the wind. She would have laughed about it, but deep down she would have been seething. She was very, very competitive."