MCADOO — In the borough of McAdoo, some people were surprised to learn Police Officer Steven Homanko was involved in a deadly wreck.
“We do like him, we think he’s a good cop,” said borough resident Shirley Friendy, who added she was shocked by the news.
“An accident is an accident, you know? Somebody dies, it’s tragic,” said Tony Perna, who works in McAdoo.
Homanko, 25, is a part-time officer in McAdoo, but was working his other job as a part-time Nesquehoning officer when the crash happened Monday evening.
Homanko started the job in Nesquehoning last year.
State police said Homanko was driving his cruiser with lights and sirens on when he lost control on part of Route 209 i9n Nesquehoning and crashed into a vehicle coming the opposite way.
The driver of that vehicle, Michael Sauers, 64, of Hazleton was injured.
His wife, Carola Sauers, 69, died at the hospital.
At a packed McAdoo borough council meeting Tuesday night, several people came to speak their minds about Officer Homanko, who they said has a pattern of harassing people by pulling them over in their vehicles without cause.
“We’ve been complaining about a lot of this stuff, and guess what? Look what happened. Somebody’s life is lost, because I can’t say for sure, because I don’t know facts, but I mean, if it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” said Melissa Paisley of McAdoo.
Some in the community said Homanko does indeed have a reputation as a police officer.
“Young cop, I don’t know. Looking to make a name for himself like everyone says,” said one resident who did not want to be identified.
The mayor of McAdoo refused to comment on Homanko’s status as a borough police officer.