WILKES-BARRE – After a week of surveillance camera images being broadcast to the public and pleas for the driver to surrender, more than 100 tips have been submitted in the investigation into a deadly hit-and-run crash.
Authorities said 5-year-old Kevin Miller was struck by a car as he crossed the street with his family while leaving a Christmas party on West North Street on December 21.
Investigators have released several images from surveillance cameras of a red four-door Pontiac speeding away from the scene.
Officers initially believed that the car was a Grand Am, but later broadened the search to a red Pontiac sedan with a sunroof and no rear spoiler.
Earlier this week, two separate funds at First National Community Bank and PNC Bank branches were set up to collect a reward that would be offered to the tipster that gives police information that leads to an arrest.
After receiving a tip, officers and Luzerne County detectives surrounded a red Pontiac that was parked outside an apartment on Lee Park Avenue in nearby Hanover Township Friday morning.
The sedan did have a sunroof and a scrapes on the front bumper, but the Bonneville also had a rear spoiler, which did not match the description of the car in question.
The owner of the car, who only wanted to be identified as Stephen, told Newswatch 16 that he has a medical condition and is unable to drive in the dark.
"They asked me what I was doing with the car Friday night. I don't go no place, know what I mean? I didn't drive it,” said Stephen.
Authorities determined that the man and the Pontiac Bonneville were not connected to the deadly hit-and-run.
Wilkes-Barre Police Capt. Robert Hughes told Newswatch 16 that rewards can lead to bad tips but detectives will investigate every lead seriously.
"We'll take that risk that it's going to help us. It may only give us one good tip and ten bad tips, but we're willing to take that chance,” said Hughes.
The Miller family issued a written statement Friday afternoon that said it is grateful for the donations to reward fund, but Kevin would be better remembered if future donations were redirected to first responders, libraries and theaters.
Here is the statement: “It should be instinctive, our very nature, to do what is right. Satisfaction is it's own reward. Knowing that you righted a wrong, corrected an error, helped another, that "good" feeling you get when you've done something nice this should be enough.
We appreciate Mr. Glodzik's and Mr. Kadluboski's gesture and those of you who contributed.
We hope it assists the city and state law enforcement agencies.
However Kevin would be better memorialized by contributing to your local library because he loved to read, the theater, for his love of singing and dancing, to the volunteers in medicine & dentistry, so children don't suffer in poor health, to your local police, fire and ambulance , so they may have the funds to do their good deeds, when you are behind the wheel of your vehicle be alert, drive slower, put your cellphone away, be kind to others.
When the "hype" of this tragic accident fades from the public eye, our family will see the results of these actions and know that Kevin Miller made our world a better place.”