Memorial Bike Missing from Scranton Sidewalk

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The family of a man who was hit and killed while riding his bike in Scranton three years ago is looking for answers after a big piece of a memorial at the crash site has disappeared.

Michael Harmer was 26 years old when he was hit and killed while riding his bike on South Main Avenue in Scranton nearly three years ago. A bike that memorialized him is now missing, and his family wants it back.

It will be three years in August since Michael Harmer was hit and killed while riding his bike, and it will be three years in August since someone anonymously donated a white bike in memory of him.

"The bike just was here. It was kind of like a sign from above that it's going to be OK, not to worry. 'I have arrived home and this is just a sign that I am there,'" said the victim's brother Joseph Harmer.

The "ghost bike" became a memorial site for Harmer. It sits on the sidewalk where he was riding when he was hit and killed. The driver of the car that hit him admitted to being high on heroin and cocaine at the time.

"It became a symbol to a lot of people. We have families within a couple block radius that family members were killed in this area."

The bike was put away in storage for the winter. It was brought back out last Friday, and by Sunday night, the family noticed it was gone.

"Everyone was like, 'Where's the bike? Where's the bike?' We asked everyone up and down the neighborhood, and no one has seen it. We think it might have been stolen at night when no one is around," said Joseph.

Joseph placed a temporary memorial at the crash site until the bike is returned. His family hopes that happens before Michael's birthday in three weeks.

"It would be greatly appreciated to bring it back to our family and to the community. It's a symbol of distracted driving."

Thomas Gill, the driver of the car who hit Michael Harmer was charged and is currently serving a six to 12 year jail sentence.

If you have any information about where the bike might be, you are asked to contact the family.

Anyone with information about bike can find Joseph Harmer on Facebook or email ally.gallo@wnep.com to get in touch with the family

4 comments

  • jsrant

    Check with the city. Maybe your violating a city ordinance. They might of removed it. It was ok for awhile but now it has to go. I also agree with savescranton with his post.

  • yabbadabbadude

    Driving under the influence of heroin and cocaine is NOT “distracted driving”, and them saying that tells me everything I need to know about the family of the victim – they’re probably very similar in their ‘lifestyle’ to the driver of the car.

  • savescrantonhistory

    “It would be greatly appreciated to bring it back to our family and to the community. It’s a symbol of distracted driving.”
    I’m sorry for your loss, but distracted driving is caused by distractions and this bike IS a distraction. There’s other memorials to people who have died in various areas around Scranton and beyond, including one along Birney Ave in Moosic right before the 81 junction. They all elicit the same response from me (that being to look away from the road for a second or two), even though I’ve seen them a bunch of times.

    I understand you want to memorialize your loved one who died due to a driver who was under the influence at the time. But doing so on a public sidewalk and thus causing a distraction that may cause even MORE injuries or deaths is NOT the way to do it. If somebody did this in front of my house I would remove it and keep removing them until they agreed to finally stop.

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