Tragic deaths of 2 fire fighters inspire families to save lives across the region

Rodney Miller didn't know when he was building a shelf to honor the life of Zac Sweitzer that the two would soon be bound by tragedy.

The men formed a close friendship at the Loganville Fire company, where Miller served as Chief and Sweitzer volunteered.

"Zac actually helped build our house," Rodney's wife, Michelle Miller, remembers. "Right before Zac's crash, he was hunting with Rodney."

Zac Sweitzer died after a crash Thanksgiving morning 2008. He was driving home from his girlfriend's house on Interstate 83 in York Township around 5:30 am when his vehicle collided with another driver who was later charged with DUI.

A blood drive was started in his honor, and Rodney Miller was a regular donor.

But, "four and a half years after losing Zac, we lost Rodney," said Zac's mother, Missy Sweitzer.

Miller too was killed in a DUI-related crash in the line of duty.

"When we first learned the news at the hospital about Rodney, Mark and Missy (Sweitzer) were there and I just couldn't believe that this was the same thing that was happening again," said Michelle Miller.

Both Zac Sweitzer and Rodney Miller were organ and tissue donors. And now, the blood drive that was started for Zac also bears Rodney's name.

On Friday, more than 100 people donated in their honor in North Codorus Township.

"If this can give back to others, that's what you do," Michelle Miller said. "That's what they did."

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