Friends, firefighters mourn the loss of local fire chief - abc27 WHTM

Friends, firefighters mourn the loss of local fire chief

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A white helmet is now empty. A community is mourning after a local fire chief was killed in the line of duty overnight Saturday.

Hearts were heavy around the Loganville Volunteer Fire Department in southern York County. Up the road at Stan Brown's apple orchard, the long-time friend of Rodney Miller spoke to abc27 about losing a "great man."

"When you lose one like this...you just miss him badly," said Brown.

Brown, also a volunteer fire fighter, said the tight-knit department never had to deal with such heartache. Brown said Miller was a skilled carpenter for his day job. According to him, Miller was dedicated to building a life on relationship and service.

"He was loved by everyone," said Brown. "Loved by the whole community."

State Police said Chief Miller was on the scene of a crash along I-83 near Exit 8 around Glenn Rock. Authorities said Miller stood by his emergency vehicle with flashing lights in the southbound lane of the highway and helped navigate motorists around the wreck.

Authorities said that portion of the highway was shut down to allow a medical helicopter room to land.

Just before 1 a.m. Saturday, state police said 32-year-old Matthew Diehl began to approach the crash scene when he swerved around Miller's emergency vehicle and struck Miller with his Chevy Trailblazer SUV.

But Diehl didn't stop, according to state police. They said he continued to drive until backlogged traffic from the prior crash forced him to stop with nowhere else to go.

State police charged Diehl with homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence.

Since then, the fraternity of firefighters have showed a wave of support. A moment of silence for Miller was held during Saturday's annual cops versus firefighters hockey game in Dauphin County.

Social media was flooded with various local fire departments offering prayers to Miller's family and fellow firefighters.

As Brown explained, he didn't just lose a friend, rather a community lost a great leader.

"Rodney rose to the occasion to serve people and that's what he did," said Brown. "Really missed...really missed."

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