Man Arrested For Deadly Hit and Run, Victim’s Friends and Family Hold Vigil

SCRANTON -- Police in Scranton made an arrest Monday after a deadly hit and run.

The victim was riding a bike on the city's west side when he was killed.

Scranton police say Thomas Gill, 57, of Scranton was behind the wheel Sunday morning when he hit and killed a man on a bicycle and took off.

Gill was arrested at his apartment Monday afternoon and charged in connection with a deadly hit and run Sunday. He is charged with homicide by vehicle aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter.

Police say Gill drove an SUV across the double yellow lines on South Main Avenue in Scranton around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, jumped the curb and hit and killed Michael Harmer, a father who was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk.

Investigators say Gill drove off.

“Certainly, from the circumstances we discovered from this tragic death, this individual certainly should not be behind the wheel. There's an indication he's a habitual drug user, an alcohol user,” said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.

Cops say they tracked Gill down using video surveillance and talking with witnesses.

Investigators said Gill admitted to snorting heroin and cocaine and smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel, saying, "I killed someone because I was so f***** up."

"I took a life. I shouldn't have been driving. I shouldn't have been behind the wheel."

Gill told investigators he was sorry. He wishes he had used a cab.

"I would love to say that it makes me feel better, but that's like trying to fix a broken plate. It never goes back together perfectly. They can catch him, but it will never bring back my brother,” said Merrica Keller, Michael Harmer’s sister.

Shortly after Gill's arrest, people gathered where Harmer was hit, celebrating his life and mourning his loss.

"Great father, great friend, give the shirt off his back to anybody. He was a jokester, just the light of the room. Honestly, he was one of my best friends,” said Tara Banks, Harmer’s cousin.

Condolences and farewells poured into Harmer's Facebook page. One read, "This is so sad - praying for your family." Another simply said, "Rest in peace."

15 comments

  • Lala

    He is my uncle. I couldn’t believe that it was him that did this to this poor man. Regardless of his mistakes I will always and forever stand by him. I am not condoning his actions and I am not going to say #freemyuncle becsuse regardless of the matter he took another man’s life while under the influence. BUT that does not mean I will leave him alone. It’s bad enough he has this upon his conscience for the rest of his life due to drugs. And for anyone who will comment on this, you can say whatever you may like but my feelings for my uncle will not change. I know his mistakes and I know what he has done. Whatever the judge gives him is what has to happen but that will not and let me repeat this in the most upmost respect…..it will not change my feelings for my uncle. I will pray for him and his life. I will always love him and will always always be his niece. So if you or anyone don’t like it well you guys can just well…. You know what I am getting at. I pray for the families of this victim to find peace. I know it won’t mean anything of what I say but I do apologize for what has happened. An apology will not help and it will not mean nothing. I hope you find peace and forgiveness. Rest easy Micheal Harmer

  • Hope Moffiitt

    ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO KILLS A PERSON WHILE UNDERTHE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS SHOULD GET AUTOMATIC DEATH PENALTY. PERIOD. MAYBE THEN PEOPLE WILL THINK BEFORE THEY DRIVE. THE CONSEQUENCES ARE NOT SEVERE ENOUGHT TO DETER THIS SELFISH BEHAVIOUR

  • PA. YOU ARE DISGUSTING!

    When will you disgusting Pa. people (GOV. WOLF/COPS/PREACHERS/TEACHERS AND EVERY OTHER FREAK) stop supporting drug users and Pedos in this nasty state, ANOTHER POTHEAD!

  • BE NICE

    Scranton is filled with Heroin addicts, prescription drug junkies and alcoholics. Very depressing. The man was riding his bike on the sidewalk instead of the road, thinking he was safer that way. But leave it to some over-baked drug addict to end his ONE LIFE THAT HE GETS. This killer is a piece of crap. Don’t anybody feel sorry for him, he’d probably get behind the wheel in the same condition if he got another chance!

  • Joske

    Thanks to great police work, this piece of trash is off the streets and hopefully won’t kill again. It amazes me how police track down these hit and run idiots, but they always get caught. Next up the commenters who will inevitably blame the cyclist for the SUV driver being on drugs, driving across the center lane, and hitting him on a sidewalk because the cyclist didn’t pay road tax. Brace yourselves for the utterly stupid idiots with IQs of 50 who will comment below.

  • Allie

    Are you serious???? You’re a murder! You left him there to die, you’re a coward!!!!!! Don’t use the addict excuse, be a man and take responsibility!!!! You murdered him, you took away a father, son, brother, nephew, grandson, and a great friend. You deserve to be executed!!!!!!!

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