WILKES-BARRE – During a closed funeral service on Monday morning, family members said goodbye to their 5-year-old son who died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver late Friday night.
Authorities say Kevin Miller was leaving a holiday party with his family, when he was struck by a car on West North Street.
According to police, the driver of the red Pontiac Grand Am sped away from the scene instead of stopping to help.
Monsignor Joseph Rauscher told Newswatch 16 that the little boy who lived near Dallas was polite, full of joy and loved to sing.
“He was such a beautiful young boy; very faithful in his coming to church. A lot of people recognized who he was by the fact that they knew his presence there with his twin brother. It's very, very sad,” said Rauscher. “It’s just such a tragic thing. People who did eyewitness it, it is so sad. Family was gathering with friends. All of a sudden, he’s gone.”
Rauscher said the sudden loss has been explained to young parishioners at Saint Nicholas Church and that he is asking the congregation to continue praying for the Miller family, as well as the driver that failed to stop and help.
“The driver that sped away; if anybody knows anything at all, it's important that they come forward,” said Rauscher. “This is a tragic event that should not have happened."
Near the small memorial at the intersection where Miller was hit, Patricia Creaezo told Newswatch 16 that she and other pedestrians often have trouble crossing the busy street.
"The traffic is terrible. It's fast. Too fast for the area,” said Creaezo.
Miller is believed to be the fifth victim of a fatal hit-and-run crash in Luzerne County this year.