Driver Sent to Prison for Wreck that Killed Bicyclist in Scranton

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- The man who admitted to being high when he hit and killed a bicyclist in 2016 in Scranton learned his fate Monday.

Thomas Gill of Scranton was very emotional during the sentencing Monday afternoon but so were the friends and family members of Michael Harmer, the man who died.

"I feel there's a little closure, but justice? How do you put the word justice on a loss of life?" asked the victim's father Joseph Keller.

Thomas Gill will serve six to 12 years in prison and two years of probation.

"He'll get to see his family again, but we won't get to see him. This is the worst time of my life," said the victim's grandmother Bonnie Jezorwski.

Gill admits being high on heroin and cocaine in August 2016 when he hit and killed Harmer.

The victim was riding his bike on the sidewalk on South Main Avenue in Scranton. Gill drove off but was arrested a short time later.

"They gave him six years, six years to take 26 years of life. That's the justice system. These people right here, we're going to rise above it all. He took Mike but he isn't going to take us," Keller said.

Gill read an apology letter to Harmer's family at the sentencing. Michael Harmer's father also spoke in the courtroom and nearly 20 friends and family members of Harmer were there, too.

"We're going to move on. We're going to overcome. That's what this will be. The next person to see this story, put the keys down. Don't let your son be my son. Don't take somebody's son," Keller added.

Harmer was a father of two young children. He was actually riding his bike to go see his son when he was killed.

Gill had an extensive record prior to the hit and run that included eight motor vehicle crimes and five drug crimes.

Harmer's family questions why he was behind the wheel that day.

"We need to do something different. Impaired driving is never an accident. You chose to get down behind the wheel. Inevitably somebody, without their choice, somebody winds up dead for the rest of their life," said Keller.

Michael Harmer's family says the sentencing will help them move forward.

Thomas Gill's lawyers say he made his guilty plea earlier this year so that the family did not have to go through a trial.

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