Local runners relay to support transit cop injured from hit and run


PHILADELPHIA, PA (WTXF) - A local group runners took to the streets today in a "get- well" relay to support a city transit cop who was run down by a hit and run driver last week.

FOX 29's Joann Pileggi has the story of the officer's recovery and the search for the driver who fled the scene.

Leave it to runners, some who knew officer Gary Miller, others who didn't, but they rallied today in a special pop up run to bring cheer to the officer and his family and let other runners know they need to be careful on the roads.

Under a blazing mid-day sun, a group of runners, made their way along Frankford Ave in Northeast Philly. They had a mission and a cause.

“We just want to support the community and let the officer know, the running community is behind him,” Jamie Duffy said. 
“We are all runner and one of our own has an unfortunate accident, so we are here to support him,” John Lyons said.

Last Sunday, 44-year old SEPTA police officer Gary Miller was running on Rowland Avenue when a driver going in the same direction slammed into him from behind.

Miller flew in the air, hitting the windshield of the car, and then the pavement, the driver sped away. 

“Accidents do happen, if you stop, and render aide, that's what you are supposed to do. Unfortunately this didn't happen in this case,” Transit Officer John Arnold told FOX 29.

Officer Miller's wife Clara says she is overwhelmed by the efforts of the running group that organized this special event for her husband, which was supported by Williams fellow officers from SEPTA and Philly police.

“He just remembers running, he doesn't remember anything else, just waking up in the hospital,” Clara Alicea said. The love of my life, I am glad, thank the lord, Jesus I still have him.”

The group ran, four miles from the spot where miller was hit, to a park near the hospital where Miller is recovering he's had two surgeries so far and another is scheduled.

His family sent us photos as he opened cards and running gifts.

“It's really unfortunate, one incident is one too many, and it's really a shame this happened at all,” Arnold said.

“It's what can happen, be aware of everything around you, unfortunately people are on phones, not paying attention, you never know what’s going to happen,” Duffy said.

Transit police tell us that authorities in Plymouth Township picked up a suspect in connection with Officer Miller's hit and run case.

In the meantime, police and the runners group continue to urge both runners and drivers to look out for each other.

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