Local police officer honored for assistance to family after hit-and-run

A local police officer was honored for helping a family after a hit-and-run in South Coatesville Borough last year. 

"They were thrown from the stroller and the child was lodged in the fence," said Officer Justin Fonock about a day who won’t forget. He responded to a hit-and-run in September of last year on Lower Gap Road where the victims were a mother and her two young children she had been pushing in a stroller. Miraculously, they weren't seriously hurt.

"Seeing the two kids get hit I had a lot of compassion for them," he said. That compassion is what we remember along with this day when our cameras returned to see Officer Fonock and his chief surprise the family with a new double stroller he got Walmart to donate for then 2 and 3-year-old Jalen and Julian.

"On behalf of Walmart we'd like to present you with a brand new stroller for your two children," said Coatesville Borough Police Chief Kevin Pierce to the family. Now fast forward just over a year later, when Officer Fonock got an unexpected surprise himself.

"I'm very gracious and very humbled," he said. FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson talked to him this evening about a commendation he received for realizing the accident left the family with a need that he led the department's effort to fulfill.

 "It's nice to be recognized for doing our job but then again this is our job. This is what we do on a daily basis," he said. Video from last Friday when State Senator Andy Dinniman presented Officer Fonock with an award after the Chester County League of Women Voters and Westminster Presbyterian Church selected him to be honored. They cite his quote-quick and unflinching assistance of the mother and her two children.

 "That I worked with several businesses to provide support to the family including the donation of a new double stroller. Any definition of a full and productive life must include service to others," Officer Fonock read from the award. He says the instinct to do something for the family came from his own role as a husband to wife, Jess, and father to his 2-year-old daughter Riley.

He hopes his good deed sticks with Jalen and Julian.

 "When you have the positive reaction with a child at a very young ages that can go a long way," he said. Chief Kevin Pierce added, “The old cliché is I want to be a police officer to help people but it's true we do enjoy supporting people and helping people in their time of need."

The department also secured a financial donation from the scrap yard to give to the family. Officer Fonock says he also had the assistance of the Coatesville Police Department.