NESQUEHONING — Some people who live in Nesquehoning say it was just an accident waiting to happen with a police officer involved in a deadly crash Monday night.
Investigators still won’t say why that officer had his lights and siren on at the time of the wreck but some residents have filed complaints about him in the past.
State police didn’t give us any update Wednesday on their investigation into the deadly crash involving Officer Steven Homanko but we did learn he’s not scheduled for any on-duty shifts in Nesquehoning after what happened.
There is a lot of talk in that community about the crash and about Officer Homanko.
As state police investigate the deadly crash that happened along Route 209 in Nesquehoning Monday night, they have been looking for witnesses who saw anything related to this wreck.
We found one.
“I was getting on the Main Street right before the post office had to pull over because I saw the cop coming behind me flying; he was coming off 54, flying behind me so I had to pull over.”
She says that was minutes before the crash. She wasn’t sure which officer was driving, but wasn’t surprised seeing a cop speeding on Route 209, she and many others here say it happens a lot with Officer Steven Homanko and another part-time officer.
Investigators say Homanko had lights and siren on when he lost control and crashed, killing Carola Sauers of Hazleton and injuring her husband.
State troopers won’t say if there was a chase.
“I didn’t see him chasing nobody,” said the person we talked to. “I was in front of him so I had to pull over, so I’m sure if he was chasing someone. He would have been behind me, the car.”
The borough council president tells us Officer Homanko is not suspended from the Nesquehoning police department but the part-time officer is not scheduled for any shifts because of his injuries. Now the council president says the borough is waiting for the state police to finish their investigation.
“I have no problem with the police department as a whole but this part-time officer and another has been going out of bounds,” said Nesquehoning resident Ed Wise.
Wise recently filed a complaint saying he was mistreated by Officer Homanko during a routine traffic stop.
“Instead of serve and protect, they just seem to be determined to see how many stops or arrests they can get and something terrible has happened,” Wise said.
“I feel bad for that woman. I’ve said to the people who live and work here something’s going to happen bad, I’ve said that so many times and guess what? Rest in peace. I feel really bad for them, I really do.”
Carbon County 911 dispatchers wouldn’t release the transcript of transmissions from Officer Steven Homanko on Monday night, but did say he was not dispatched to a specific call at the time.
Officer Homanko is also a part-time officer in McAdoo. The mayor wouldn’t say it he’ll be scheduled for any shifts there.