The community continues to mourn the loss of Loganville Fire Chief Rodney Miller. A clack ribbon hangs from the fire company, and flags fly at half-staff.
Police say Miller was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver just after midnight Saturday night. He was directing traffic after an accident on Interstate 83, directing cars off of the interstate at the Glen Rock exit. “Chief Miller and his crew had come to the scene because the woman involved in that crash was going to be life-flighted away from the scene. Therefore they had to shut down the interstate to allow for the helicopter to land,” said State Police Trooper Robert Hicks. “The suspect was driving down the left lane, supposedly he did see some of the vehicle begin to slow down in the left hand lane, he went over to the right-hand lane and hit Chief Miller,” he said.
Police say Matthew Diehl of Shrewsbury hit Chief Miller, and kept on driving. “He continued on approximately two more miles, until he was stopped in the backlog of some other traffic, in which point in time some of the other firemen and police caught up with him,” said Trooper Hicks. “It all started with one crash where the female is suspected of DUI. And here you have Chief Miller out there trying to help out in that situation, and ironically he gets killed by a person who is suspected of DUI as well.”
Currently Scott Diehl is facing several charges including homicide by vehicle, and driving under the influence. District Attorney Tom Kearney says he could be in for even more serious ones. “We are taking a look at amending the charges so that will be determined by the reports. But they could be changed to something even more serious than they are now including third degree murder. When someone commits a reckless death that constitutes third degree murder. This is his third DUI arrest, he was driving on a suspended license. We’re taking a look at the facts. Oh and he left the scene and left this man to basically die,” said Kearney. “We’re taking a look at the nature of the accident. What was he doing, where was he, what was his location on the highway, was he speeding, all of those factors will play into the determination of whether we amend the charges.”
“The present charges will carry a mandatory three years in state prison. Third-degree murder could go much higher,” Kearney said.
Kearney says drunk drivers are a real problem and the community needs to step in. “When you see somebody, tell them to stop, take their keys. This affects all of us. We as citizens have an obligation to care for each other.”